Sativex – approved!

I mentioned in a post in March this year that Sativex was to be approved in Q2 2010 – and so it happened! : )

Medical News Today (22/06/2010) has reported that “the first symptom relief drug specifically for people withmultiple sclerosis (MS) has been licensed by the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency).

Sativex can be prescribed by MS specialists and it should be taken as part of a multi-disciplinary symptom management programme, which includes regular physiotherapy and assessments by occupational therapists.

As previously mentioned Sativex is an oral spray made from cannabis extract and serves to help alleviate MS symptoms of spasticity.

However, it is believed that the treatment is only effective in about 40% of people who take it. This, fortunately, becomes clear within a matter of weeks if it is not working.

Gilenia – another oral drug coming out…??

I just read that Novartis has received the FDA “go ahead” to introduce the first oral drug for MS and that it is expected to be approved as soon as September this year…?!?!?! : )

As I previously wrote here on the blog, oral drugs for MS are a really great thing for us MS sufferers and are on the “rise”… let’s face it.. everybody gets sick and tired of all the needles etc..

So yeah, this sounds like a great thing, and it seems that we will have many pills to choose from for treating our MS! ; )

See the links below for more info:

http://preview.bloomberg.com/news/2010-06-10/novartis-pill-for-multiple-sclerosis-can-be-used-safely-fda-panel-decides.html

http://www.newsy.com/videos/first-oral-pill-designed-to-treat-multiple-sclerosis/

Pregnancy -> MS in remission..

Finally, a discovery about the relation of pregnancy and remission in MS…

Today’s article on Medical News Today (see under “Links”) describes how researches discovered a biological mechanism responsible for changes in the immune system which helps explain the remission that pregnant women with MS go through.

According to researchers, the expression of an enzyme known as pyruvate kinase is reduced in immune cells in pregnant women compared to non-pregnant women. The study is significant because the newly discovered mechanism points to a pathway that could be targeted for treatment. Indeed, researchers said that “it may be possible to design drugs that mildly suppress pyruvate kinase activity as a means of replicating the immune status of normal pregnancy”.

For more information on the research visit the Medical News Today link to the right ; )

A simple eye test to asses the damage caused by MS..

Article dated 08 Jun 2010 (Medical News Today – see link)

Researchers found that a quick, painless eye measurement shows promise as a way to diagnose MS in its very early stages, and to even track the effectiveness of treatments…:

Dr. Elliot Frohman said that “this technique has the potential to provide a powerful and reliable assessment strategy to measure structural changes in the central nervous system, both for diagnostic purposes and in clinical trials to monitor whether potential treatments can prevent deterioration or restore nerve function“.

The technique, called optical coherence tomography (OCT), reliably measures thinning of the retina in people with multiple sclerosis, the researchers found.

“An ophthalmologist might someday be able to use OCT to identify retinal thinning during a routine eye exam and consider MS as a prime diagnosis,” Dr. Frohman said.

The research highlights how retinal thinning can occur as a result of MS. The researchers found that the retinas thinned significantly with time, and patients often concurrently lost visual sharpness. Overall, the study indicated that OCT is reliable, easy to use and sensitive to changes over time.

For some more details on this article follow the above mentioned link to the right.. ; )