Estrogen treatment combined with traditional therapies improves the health of women with multiple sclerosis, specifically through a lower risk of relapse.
Taking estrogen in combination with their traditional treatment helped female patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) avoid relapses, according to findings from a clinical trial published in Lancet Neurology.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles observed 164 MS patients in order to determine the effects of estrogen treatment in reducing MS relapse. The MS patients were aged 18 to 50 years old and were assigned to either receive 8 mg daily oral estrogen or a placebo in combination with injectable glatiramer acetate 20 mg daily. The patients were on this treatment for 24 months and then assessed using the Expanded Disability Status Scale.
Before the study, the researchers believed that increased estrogen in the blood during pregnancy might play a role in suppressing a women’s immune system so that the fetus is not rejected as a foreign object, since it has the father’s DNA, too, they explained. This benefit of pregnancy would be especially important for MS and other autoimmune diseases, they thought. These beliefs were consistent with their findings.
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