Well, I suppose everybody figured I'd jump in.
In a nutshell, after some research, personally, my opinion is that the online claims of Idebenone appear to be much exaggerated.
Apparently, there are two compositions of idebenone - oxidized and reduced idebenone. From what I can ascertain from a cursory review, the oxidized form does little to nothing beneficial.
The reduced idebenone does show some affect on the hypocampus part of the brain (which correlates with long term memory), but clinical tests for use of it in Alzheimers, from what I can tell, showed no benefit.
As far as any effect on myelin? I didn't find a thing that showed any correlation with that.
As a matter of fact, there were a couple of research studies that shed a little "doubt" on the long-term safety of idebenone, precisely due to its strength.
Exp Biol Med (Maywood). 2003 May;228(5):506-13. Related Articles, Links
Mitochondrial production of oxygen radical species and the role of Coenzyme Q as an antioxidant.
Genova ML, Pich MM, Biondi A, Bernacchia A, Falasca A, Bovina C, Formiggini G, Parenti Castelli G, Lenaz G.
Dipartimento di Biochimica "G Moruzzi", University of Bologna, 40126 Bologna, Italy.
The mitochondrial respiratory chain is a powerful source of reactive oxygen species (ROS), which is considered as the pathogenic agent of many diseases and of aging. We have investigated the role of complex I in superoxide radical production and found by the combined use of specific inhibitors of complex I that the one-electron donor to oxygen in the complex is a redox center located prior to the sites where three different types of Coenzyme Q (CoQ) competitors bind, to be identified with an Fe-S cluster, most probably N2, or possibly an ubisemiquinone intermediate insensitive to all the above inhibitors. Short-chain Coenzyme Q analogs enhance superoxide formation, presumably by mediating electron transfer from N2 to oxygen. The clinically used CoQ analog, idebenone, is particularly effective, raising doubts on its safety as a drug. Cells counteract oxidative stress by antioxidants. CoQ is the only lipophilic antioxidant to be biosynthesized. Exogenous CoQ, however, protects cells from oxidative stress by conversion into its reduced antioxidant form by cellular reductases. The plasma membrane oxidoreductase and DT-diaphorase are two such systems, likewise, they are overexpressed under oxidative stress conditions.
PMID: 12709577 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Apparently, regular CoQ10 is synthesized differently, also. To tell you my opinion, (which is STRICTLY my opinion and nothing else), I'd personally just stick with CoQ10 myself. OVERALL, it appears to provide the same and even perhaps better benefits, with less risk. They both assist with the mitochondrial respiratory chain (biological energy), which is a good thing in general, but is it specific
for MS treatment? I'd say no, but I believe it probably helps some (as you mentioned that you have noticed).
Ok...that's my two cents. For what it's worth.
(Oh....and I take CoQ10, also.)
I hope others will weigh in here, also, though!
Best to you!
EDIT: You know, since it appears this is basically an anti-oxidant agent anyway, and there is a little "controversy" about it, perhaps you might consider adding additional different types of anti-oxidants along with CoQ10 to his regimen? Sarah!! Where are you? Sarah's good at this stuff.
SECOND EDIT: Maybe Felly might consider tossing in his/her thoughts???