The antihistamine drug clemastine fumarate appears to aid in remyelination and slightly reverse multiple sclerosis visual nerve damage.
A Phase 2 clinical trial testing the efficacy of a common antihistamine, clemastine fumarate, to treat optic nerve damage in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) found the drug able to slightly reverse damage to their visual system.
The study, conducted by researchers at the Multiple Sclerosis Center at the University of California San Francisco and titled “Positive phase II double-blind randomized placebo-controlled crossover trial of clemastine fumarate for remyelination of chronic optic neuropathy in MS,” will be presented on April 19 by Dr. Ari Green, a study author, at the 68th American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Annual Meeting taking place in Vancouver, Canada, through April 21, 2016.
Results are exciting, Dr. Green said in a press release, “[I]t is the first to demonstrate possible repair of that protective coating in people with chronic demyelination from MS.”
According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, vision problems are among the first symptoms of MS for many patients resulting from the destruction of myelin and subsequent nerve damage. The damage slows the transmission of information traveling to and from the brain and eyes, and causes conditions that include optic neuritis, inflammation of the optic nerve, or damage to the nerve pathways responsible for eye movements and visual coordination.