Multiple sclerosis researchers are revisiting existing medications to see if they can provide additional benefits.
Some mornings, Paul Davis has no trouble getting dressed. But then there are days when he can’t get his feet anywhere near his shoes.
Davis is a 63-year-old Chardon man with multiple sclerosis. He may grunt and swear and struggle until he can make his toes cooperate, but he never asks his wife for help.
“When you start giving in, MS wins,” Davis said. “I am not going to let it win.”
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease that affects the brain and central nervous system — disrupting the flow of information from the brain to the body and often limits mobility. Symptoms include tingling, numbness, blindness and paralysis.
As the search for a cure continues, the forefront of MS research is investigating if existing drugs could pull double duty and also be effective in fighting against MS.
Recent studies, taking place at the Cleveland Clinic and other sites, asked if an over-the-counter allergy medicine and a Japanese asthma drug could reverse the effects of multiple sclerosis, bringing hope to the 2.3 million people worldwide with the disease.
This approach speeds up drug testing and approval. Instead of needing 15-20 years to get a brand-new MS drug to market, the process with an already-approved drug would take a fraction of the time, said Dr. Jeffery Cohen, professor of medicine, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.
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