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New drug shows promise for multiple sclerosis patients

A new medication might help in multiple sclerosis.

A new drug is offering new hope to multiple sclerosis patients. In a study of 255 people at 28 centers around the country, MRI scans showed the experimental drug Ibudilast slowed brain atrophy or shrinkage by almost 50 percent. Doctors involved with the study call those results “exciting.”

But there is still a long way left for the drug to go before patients can receive it. That’s frustrating one Vermonter living with MS who says treatments aren’t coming fast enough.

“My first inkling that something was wrong was when I fell down,” Tamara Mullarky said.

Mullarky, an Essex Junction resident, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis 10 years ago. Doctors told her she had the progressive form of the disease. And that meant for treatment options: “Nothing. In the beginning, nothing. They diagnosed that I had primary progressive, they said there’s nothing for primary progressive. You know, we can give you stuff to alleviate pain, but that was about it,” Mullarky said.

“It’s hard not having a cure for this disease,” said Dr. Andrew Soloman, a UVM neurologist. “It’s heartbreaking to watch people gradually get worse and not have much to offer them.”

Read on: New drug shows promise for multiple sclerosis patients

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