Amiloride for MS

A board to discuss future MS therapies in early stage (Phase I or II) trials.

Amiloride for MS

Postby Frank » Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:16 am

Blood pressure drug hope for Multiple Sclerosis
12 November 2007

A drug which has been used for decades to treat high blood pressure may turn out to be a key treatment for multiple sclerosis, say British researchers.

Amiloride was found to reduce degeneration of nerve tissue in mice and the team at Oxford University are now planning a trial in MS patients.

It works by blocking the build up of high levels of calcium in nerve cells, which can lead to nerve damage.

There are about 85,000 people with MS in the UK.

The condition is caused by a defect in the body's immune system, which turns in on itself, and attacks the fatty myelin sheath which coats the nerves.

This damage to nerve cells is caused in part by a build up of calcium.

Professor Lars Fugger and colleagues investigated the effects of a specific channel, ASIC1, which controls the entry of calcium molecules into cells.

In mice with a condition that mimics MS, they found that when the channel remains open, calcium can flood into nerve cells in higher than normal proportions and cause damage.

Inflammation like that found in MS leads to acidic conditions, which would lead to the channel opening and too much calcium accumulating in nerve cells, Professor Fugger said.


Amiloride, a drug used for many years to treat high blood pressure and heart failure, was found to stop calcium entering through the ASIC1 channel and prevent degeneration of nerve tissue in mice, the journal Nature Medicine reported.

Professor Fugger from the Medical Research Council Human Immunology Unit said the fact the drug was already licensed would speed up the process of getting the treatment to patients should it be prove effective.

He is currently working out what the appropriate dose would be in humans and plans to start a clinical trial next year.

"To develop a drug from scratch takes 10-15 years and a billion dollars and some of them are abruptly halted by unexpected side effects," he said.

"It was known that calcium is not good for nerve cells but it's not been appreciated how simple it is to block it."

Dr Laura Bell, from the MS Society, said: "Protection of nerve fibres is a promising and vital area of research and this is why the MS Society is currently spending half a million pounds on a clinical trial investigating this type of nerve protection in people with MS.

"The early stage results from Oxford are interesting and we look forward to seeing the findings of future studies."

The research is published in Nature Medicine.

Source BBC News © BBC 2007 (12/11/07)
Treatment: Gilenya since 01/2011, CCSVI both IJV ballooned 09/2010, Tysabri stopped after 24 Infusions and positive JCV antibody test, after LDN, ABX Wheldon Regime for 1 year.
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Postby dignan » Mon Nov 12, 2007 9:56 am

Interesting. I don't know exactly where to put it on the list. I'll go with phase 1 since it hasn't been tested on people with MS yet.
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Postby gwa » Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:59 pm

If any medical people on this site know if we should be taking additional calcium, please let me know.

It has bugged me for years that one problem with MS is too much calcium in the brain. Thus, should I be gulping down an additional 1000 mg of calcium daily for osteoporosis?

It almost seems nuts to me to take more calcium when the brain needs to get rid of some.

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Postby carolew » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:39 am

I thought the problem was more with calcium channels, how they open or not, while the nervous influx is taking place. I think the amount of calcium in the blood is not the issue.
I am glad that a known drug could be helpful. No one would have to be a guinea pig again.... :)
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Postby ssmme » Thu Nov 15, 2007 6:47 am

Ever since reading about the calcium thing I've been concerned about taking Fosomax. I took it for about a year, then when I was diagnosed with MS I quit taking it. My ob/gyn wants me back on it since I have osteopenia, but in reading the information pamphlet that comes with the drug I can't find anything about how it might affect my ms. Any thoughts?
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Postby gwa » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:36 am


I took Fosomax 6 years ago for about 8 months before I quit.

It made my hair fall out (not totally, but thinned it) and my legs ached so bad at night that I could not sleep.

Since getting off of it, I have religiously taken calcium, vit D and magnesium. My last bone scan showed improvement, and for sure my osteoporosis has not gotten worse.

Another thing about Fosomax that spooked me were the reports of some people getting a condition in which their jaw bones disintegrate. No more of these type of bone builders for me.

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Postby CureOrBust » Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:06 am

I took fosamax for a number of months, and didn't notice anything either way. apart from an increase in bone density.
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