Is a cure for multiple sclerosis (MS) on the horizon? According to Japaneses researchers it may be. The researchers have developed a drug they claim can act as a cure, and they aim to prove it in the near future.
The National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry at Kodaira announced on Monday that it will begin a three-month clinical trial on nine patients next month. If that trial is successful, the drug will then proceed into a large-scale trial.
“We are hopeful as preliminary studies have produced very good results,” Takashi Yamamura told The Japan Times. Yamamura is the head of the immunology department responsible for the development of the drug.
MS affects around 2 million people around the world. The disease causes several symptoms including numbness, motion problems, speech impairment, muscle weakness, cognitive impairment, and vision loss. The cause is believed to be lymphocyte immune cells that begin to misidentify the body’s own cells as foreign, making them begin destroying the cells.
The researchers developed a drug intended to stimulate a type of immune cell that softens the attacks from lymphocytes as well as creating a protein that will suppress inflammation caused by the cell damage. According to the center, the version of the drug being tested is drunk in a powder form dissolved in water.
It seems unbelievable that researchers may be this close to a cure for a disease that is still not fully understood or explained. Scientists believe they have found the underlying mechanisms that create the terrible symptoms MS patients live with, but little is known as to the true source of the disease. But, there is hope that multiple sclerosis may not remain an incurable disease for long.
After numerous comments asking for information on the results of the study, it seems a follow-up is necessary. However, since the announcement of the study there has been zero new information over the past months. Most likely, the results of this study won’t be confirmed for many more months or even a few more years. Not only do the researchers on issues such as this need to expand the study over a significant period of time to review the effectiveness of any potential study, all the results also have to be corrected to compensate for outside factors.