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12/23/2009 - News

New drug may help with multiple sclerosis

By: Susan Aldridge, medical journalist, PhD



New drug may help with multiple sclerosis

Reported by Susan Aldridge, PhD, medical journalist

According to a study, azathioprine reduces new brain lesions in patients with multiple sclerosis.
It has been known for some time that azathioprine, an immunosuppressive drug, can reduce the relapse rate among patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). Now a study from the University of Florence, Italy, reveals the effect of azathioprine on the brain.

They used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to evaluate brain lesions in a group of 14 patients with relapsing remitting MS. The patients were monitored for six months before starting azathioprine and sfor ix months during treatment. The results showed that the drug could suppress the formation of new brain lesions, an effect that persisted for 12 months. Further studies are needed, as this was a small group of patients, but the current findings make azathioprine look like an attractive option in MS.

Archives of Neurology December 2005 Volume 62 pages 1843-2847

Created on: 12/13/2005
Reviewed on: 12/23/2009

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