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Multiple sclerosis: Antioxidant may slow disease progression

A dietary supplement called lipoic acid can be beneficial for those with multiple sclerosis.

New research offers hope for patients with multiple sclerosis, after finding that a common over-the-counter antioxidant may help to slow the condition.

In a pilot study, researchers found that taking a high dose of lipoic acid every day for 2 years reduced whole brain atrophy among patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS), compared with a placebo.

Lead study author Dr. Rebecca Spain, of the Oregon Health & Science University School of Medicine in Portland, and colleagues recently reported their results in the journal Neuroimmunology & Neuroinflammation.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive neurological condition that is estimated to affect more than 2.3 million people across the globe.

In MS, the immune system mistakingly attacks myelin, which is the protective coating of nerve fibers in the central nervous system. This interferes with nerve signaling between the brain and spinal cord, causing weakness, walking difficulties, and numbness or tingling of the face, body, or limbs, among other symptoms.

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