"I can't post any links about this because it is just my theory, but the fact remains that I, with early SPMS, got better on antibiotics, not anything else."
Hi to all,
Here are two abstracts about an antibiotic (Minocycline) used for MS.
Best regards, Tim
Reported June 4, 2004
Acne Drug Treats Multiple Sclerosis
A drug currently used to treat conditions including acne has been found to decrease the lesions in the brains of people with multiple sclerosis.
Researchers from the University of Calgary in Alberta treated 10 patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis with the drug minocycline. Patients had a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed before the study and then four weeks later.
Luanne Metz, M.D., lead author of the study, reports that the drug seems to significantly reduce the activity of lesions in the brain. They believe the drug, an antibiotic, works on the immune system of this group of individuals who are known to have immune system malfunctions that trigger the attacks in the nervous system. Dr. Metz says these findings could lead doctors to a new and safe treatment option for patients with MS.
Dr. Metz and colleagues are currently involved in another study looking at the benefits of minocycline when combined with Copaxone, also known as glatiramer acetate, a drug approved to treat MS.
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, disabling disease that affects one in every 10,000 people. Symptoms vary, but include vision problems, numbness in limbs, balance and coordination problems, and loss of muscular control. Although the disease does not typically lead to death, it can destroy quality of life. There is no cure for multiple sclerosis.
SOURCE: Annals of Neurology, 2004;55:756
Minocycline and Copaxone – a useful combination therapy?
Currently, the main disease modifying drugs used to treat relapsing forms of MS are beta interferon and Copaxone. These drugs have been shown to reduce the relapse rate, on average, by around a third. However, some people do not respond well to these drugs and consequently more effective therapies are needed. Minocycline is a type of antibiotic, commonly used to treat acne, which has been shown to reduce MS symptoms in experimental models of the disease. This study investigated the effects of Copaxone, in combination with minocycline on a model of MS.
Mice with an MS-like disease were treated with a combination of Copaxone and minocycline. Low doses were used in order to assess affects on disease severity, rather than completely prevent the MS-like disease. Symptoms were assessed at regular intervals. Samples of brain and spinal cord tissue were then analysed to assess inflammation, damage to myelin (the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres) and nerve fibre loss – all processes which can occur in MS. Results were compared to healthy mice and those treated with either minocycline or Copaxone, rather than a combination therapy.
Results showed that the combination of Copaxone and minocycline significantly reduced the severity of the MS-like disease. A greater effect was observed with the combination therapy compared to either minocycline or Copaxone administered alone. Slightly lower levels of inflammation, myelin damage and nerve fibre loss were found in those mice treated with the combination of drugs.
Minocycline and Copaxone are thought to exert their effects through different mechanisms, suggesting that combination use may be more effective than when given alone. However, the mechanism for this has not been fully clarified. Few side effects have been reported with human use of minocycline for acne, and it has the advantage of being administered as a tablet, rather than by injection. The need for more effective, disease modifying therapies is increasingly recognised and clinical trials looking at combinations of drug treatments are already underway. Further research is necessary and the authors note that a trial of minocycline in combination with Copaxone, in people with MS, is ongoing in Canada.
This report was published in the Journal of Neuroimmunology, 2004. Vol. 158, pages 213-221.