There are no cures for MS at the current
moment in time, however lots of research is being undergone in order to find
ways to reduce the symptoms of the disorder.
(The above photograph shows two women undergoing a treatment for MS known as Hyperbaric oxygenation. It is from the website address www.ms.selfhelp.org/.)
It is known that the damage to the myelin sheath occurs
after it becomes inflamed. Therefore
through the knowledge of the immune system, development of drugs that prevent
the inflammatory process from occurring is important. Below are some examples of drugs that are being used to
Beta interferon’s are naturally found in the body and are used to regulate the functioning of the immune system. They regulate the T cell mediated immunity by repressing the production of certain molecules involved in its function. The beta interferon reduces the chemical gamma interferon, which is thought to be involved in myelin destruction. Clinical trials have shown to reduce MS symptoms.
This is a synthetic drug made of amino acids that are able to mimic myelin protein. They block T cells, preventing myelin attack and produce substances that reduce inflammation of the myelin sheath. This drug is equally as effective as beta interferon.
(Picture taken from www.gov.on.ca/.../english/program/ drugs/drugs_gr/drugs.jpg)
These peptides are similar to myelin but they are supposed to stimulate a non- destructive immune response. These peptides are used in order to build up the body’s tolerance to myelin. Currently trials have been stopped due to side effects caused by the peptides but it is hoped that this type of idea could act as a platform for further research.
All the MS drugs are targeted to reducing the damage to the myelin sheath therefore reducing the symptoms enabling sufferers to live a more normal life.