“New drugs and possible vaccine bring hope to multiple sclerosis patients”

Barcelona, ​​29 May. New drugs in the last phases of trials that can stop the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) and a possible vaccine that hinders infection by the Epstein-Barr virus are the new “windows of opportunity” to change the paradigm of this neurodegenerative disease .

This was explained this Monday by the director of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Catalonia (CemCat), Xavier Montalbán, in a day organized together with the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation (FEM) on the occasion of the world day of this disease, which is celebrated every 30 May.

MS is an autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord; It presents a multitude of symptoms and during its evolution it can cause neurological and motor deterioration. It affects women more than men and is most often diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40; in Spain some 47,000 people suffer from it, according to the Spanish Society of Neurology (SEN).

Montalbán stressed that in the last 20 years the approach to the disease and the quality of life of patients has improved “clearly and ostensibly”, although it is a disease that still cannot be cured.

In any case, he has indicated that “a very considerable effort” is being carried out on drugs that inhibit BTK (Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase), a small selective molecule potentially capable of penetrating the brain, protecting it and modifying the course of disability. .

He highlighted that 11 phase III pharmaceutical trials are currently underway and that the first results of one of them are expected by the end of this year.

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Another of the main lines of work is to exploit the possibilities of the Epstein-Barr virus, the virus that causes mononucleosis and which has been found to be a “sine qua non condition” for developing multiple sclerosis.

But infection by this virus does not mean that sclerosis will appear later: “95% of people have an Epstein-Barr infection during their lives and only a few, very few, will suffer from sclerosis”, highlighted Montalbán, who He is also head of the Neurology Service of the Vall d’Hebron Hospital.

Based on this virus, researchers are studying whether it would be possible to design a vaccine to be administered to children, before the first infection, that could reduce the risk of infection or severity, and to see if it also serves to prevent MS.

Like most diseases, MS has a part of genetic predisposition, but there are also risk factors for developing the disease and having a worse prognosis that a person can control, such as smoking, hypertension, obesity, diabetes, poor sleep , blows to the head or vitamin D deficiency. EFE


2023-05-29 17:17:17
#Drugs #trial #vaccine #opportunities #multiple #sclerosis

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