There is no known cure for Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Nevertheless, there are some treatments for Multiple Sclerosis on the market today can help patients manage the progression and symptoms of the disease — particularly in its early stages. Through these treatments, it is possible to slow the progression of the disease, minimize its symptoms during flare-ups, and improve the overall quality of life of those affected. Some promising treatments available to patients today include Teriflunomide, Dimethyl Fumarate, Myelin Peptides, Fampridine, and Modified Story Memory Technique.
Before researching treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, it is worth noting that any drug treatment option should always include support groups and/or talk therapy, since treatment for the disease is most effective when it includes emotional support for patients and families living with a chronic disease like MS. Just like the symptoms of MS, treatments also differ from person to person; what works for one individual might not work for another. While researchers continue to work towards better understanding the disease and eventually curing it, the following drugs can help MS patients better cope with the disease:
Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis: A Look At The Drugs
Teriflunomide: One of the main goals of MS treatment is changing the progression of the disease, and that’s what drugs known as disease-modifying medications are. Recently, an oral medications named teriflunomide (Aubagio) was approved for use in multiple sclerosis patients.
Dimethyl Fumarate: In the spring of 2013, dimethyl fumarate (Tecfidera), an oral disease-modifying drug formerly known as BG-12, became available to MS patients. It keeps the immune system from attacking itself to destroy myelin. It’s possible that this drug, administered in capsules, also protects the body in a similar way that antioxidants do. Dimethyl fumarate is recommended for patients suffering from relapsing-remitting MS, who can benefit for double-daily doses of the medication.
Myelin Peptides: Multiple Sclerosis damages myelin irreversibly, but a recent study on myelin peptides may have found a way to slow down the progression of the disease. July 2013 issue of JAMA Neurology, patients who had a transdermal infusion of myelin peptides via skin patches had less relapses and lesions, after one year of treatment.
Fampridine: MS leads to the myelin destruction which affects the way the nerves receive and send signals causing difficulties in movement and mobility. Blocking potassium channels on the nerve fibers’ surface may help the conduction of the nerves that what Fampridine offers. Also called dalfampridine, it is a potassium channel blocker and it’s believed that it can contribute to increase walking speed in MS patients. Some studies have shown results during a six-minute test in individuals taking 10 mg of the drug daily.
Modified Story Memory Technique: Besides physical body effects, cognitive functions are also become affected by multiple sclerosis. The disease can harm memory, focus, and ability to organize and plan tasks. A team of researchers at the Kessler Foundation Research Center discovered that a modified story memory technique, or mSMT, can work to rehabilitate those affect by the MS effects on cognitive functions. This treatment aids patients to keep recent memories and helps them to recall older memories by association between imagery and context in a story basis. Magnetic resonance imaging scans have showed that brain areas associated with learning and memory are more active after mSMT treatments.
Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis: Secondary Progressive MS and Beyond
While the above-mentioned treatments are commonly used for relapsing-remitting MS, it has been found that the use of both interferon and disease-modifying medications are largely ineffective in treating Multiple Sclerosis in patients who have seen their disease progress into a more advanced stage, such as secondary progressive Multiple Sclerosis (SPMS). Because SPMS tends to depart from the on-again, off-again pattern of relapsing-remitting, it has proven to be quite difficult in slowing the progression of the disease at later stages without subjecting patients to dangerous side effects associated with drugs that offer little efficacy.
However, new drugs for the treatment of secondary progressive MS are currently in the works. Texas-based Opexa Therapeutics, Inc. has developed a new Multiple Sclerosis treatment called Tcelna, which takes a completely different approach to treating secondary progressive MS. The Tcelna treatment is custom-tailored to each patient’s body: by taking a blood sample and extracting T-Cells, Opexa is able to craft a treatment for Multiple Sclerosis that supercharges the patient’s immune system, helping it to fight the disease.
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