Multiple sclerosis affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide. This debilitating condition periodically shutters communication between the brain and other parts of the body, resulting in symptoms that range from numbness and tingling in the arms and legs to blindness and paralysis. While treatments are available to alleviate inflammation, no therapies exist to protect neurons or repair the degraded myelin sheath that normally surrounds nerves.
Previous studies have shown that estrogens and estrogen-like compounds reduce multiple sclerosis-like inflammation and disability in mice. At first glance these treatments appear promising, but they carry a host of negative side effects, from feminizing male mice to increasing the risk of cancer, heart disease and stroke.
An interdisciplinary team of scientists has piggy-backed on this approach with a new concept that side steps the negative side effects while alleviating symptoms.
In a paper published in Nature Scientific Reports, Seema Tiwari-Woodruff, an associate professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine at University of California, Riverside, and her colleagues detail their efforts to create new forms of the drug chloroindazole, or IndCl, a compound that acts on a subset of estrogen receptors. Their work shows that these new compounds offer the protective effects of estrogen without the unpleasant side effects.
For more information, please visit: https://news.ucr.edu/articles/2019/02/20/research-offers-superior-therapeutic-approach-ms