In 2006, Harry Potter author JK Rowling gave ten million pounds (over 15 million dollars) to the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Scotland to help setup the Anne Rowling Regenerative Neurology Clinic based in the University of Edinburgh. She has been a champion against MS since her mother suffered from it for ten years and died at the young age of 45.
Now the clinic is funding a trial to look into current medications that are being used for motor neuron disease, heart disease and depression as hopefully a new treatment for secondary progressive MS. The Edinburgh University is running the trial in conjunction with the University of London for the next two years.
Patients will receive either a placebo or one of three drugs: Amiloride, currently used to treat heart disease, Riluzole used for MND and Fluoxetine, prescribed for depression. The good news is that all three drugs have shown promise in protecting the nerves from damage that could help to slow or even halt the progression of the multiple sclerosis. By using drugs that are already on the market, researchers don’t have to worry about unknown side effects and they have already been proven safe.
Professor Siddharthan Chandran, director of the clinic, feels that Scotland should be leading the research in this area as that country has the highest incidence of multiple sclerosis in the world.
People who have gone on to have secondary progressive MS usually start out with another type: relapsing-remitting MS. In this case patients are usually prescribed a disease modifying drug even after moving onto the secondary progressive phase of the disease, from pure lack of choice.
At this stage there is only one drug; Mitoxantrone that can be prescribed for secondary progressive MS, yet limits use due to serious side effects including heart problems and leukemia. Patients are only prescribed this drug when all other medications are not working and they are rapidly getting worse.
Any trial that is going to be testing treatments for secondary progressive MS is welcome news to everyone who suffers from MS especially those of us who are in the secondary progressive stage.
Do you have secondary progressive MS? Are you hopeful about this new trial?
You may also enjoy reading, “Mama, are you going die? JK Rowling’s Mom had MS and died.”
Vivian was diagnosed with MS in March 1999, although symptoms began in 1995. I previously worked as a financial adviser but had to retired due to the worsening of my symptoms. On the positive side, more free time allows me to work on my writing. I am 43 years old, married with two beautiful girls, aged 14 and 11 and reside in Australia.