Sativex – Cannabis & MS

According to a report from Reuters, Sativex® is to receive approval in the UK track for multiple sclerosis in Q2 this year!

Regulators had concluded there weren’t any major quality, safety or efficacy issues still to be resolved.  Discussions are now focusing on points of clarification related to the patient information leaflet.  Sativex will be marketed by Bayer in the UK and by the Spanish Almirall in the rest of Europe. Following approval in the UK and Spain, submissions for approval will be then made in additional European countries during 2010 under the mutual recognition procedure.

Sativex is an oral spray containing a cannabis extract and has shown to alleviate symptoms of spasticity and pain for MS patients.


Time of birth, exposure to sun, and age at onset of MS

Yesterday I read about this study in Neuroepidemiology (dated: 18.03.2010) and I thought I’d mention it here. The research in question is yet another one that “links the sun to MS” ; )

The authors of this study assessed the effects of time and place of birth on the age at onset of MS symptoms. The results point to the link between exposure to the sun (and thereby to vitamin D) and MS. Their findings suggest that patients with a relapsing form of MS, who were born in winter and whose birthplace was in low solar radiation areas, had disease symptom onset on average 2.8 years earlier than those born in seasons other than winter and in medium- and high-solar radiation areas. They conclude that early life exposure to geographical and seasonal factors, which are probably related to the protective effect of sunlight (and hereby vitamin D), is associated with a delay in MS symptom onset.

They finalize by stressing that other larger studies are necessary in order to examine the period-specific (from conception to adulthood) environmental factors that are associated with MS susceptibility.

A possible onset mechanism for MS discovered

Here you can read about yet another research towards understanding the complex disease that MS is : o)

Medical News Today, March 1st 2010:

A group of researchers from the Catholic University of Rome, led by Francesco Ria & Giovanni Delogu, have explained for the first time how a  non-pathogenic bacterium is capable of triggering an autoimmune disease similar to multiple sclerosis in the mouse (…).

Their research is based on the “autoimmune hypothesis”. This hypothesis states that a viral or bacterial pathogen similar to specific molecules of the Central Nervous System causes an inflammation which provokes a reaction of the immune system. This reaction ends up destroying the brain cells.

What their research has demonstrated is that in an animal model it is possible to be infected with something not carrying any disease, and later on develop a purely autoimmune disease.

The hope still remains to defeat MS! The researchers say they could even imagine to develop a vaccine by which we could prevent the immune response associated to multiple sclerosis.

(for more details on how the research was done visit the Medical News Today link to the right ; )