Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Highly effective and yet non-harmful: Fumaric acid esters to fight MS

26.03.2013
Firewall for nerve cells: RUBIN covers research reports
Success made in Bochum: Treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease for which no cure has yet been found. Its progression may be delayed thanks to new drugs, but the active ingredients in those drugs are either only partially effective or may lead to severe side effects.

Recent developments in the field of dermatology have given rise to hope. Researchers in Bochum have discovered that MS symptoms are considerably alleviated through the application of an active pharmaceutical ingredient on the basis of fumaric acid that has long been successfully used against psoriasis.

Patients suffered 50% fewer flare-ups and the number of active inflammatory foci was reduced by up to 90%. Researchers have now discovered in what way fumaric acid esters protect nerve cells. Their report has been published in the international edition of RUBIN, the science magazine issued by the Ruhr University Bochum.

RUBIN online

The complete article with downloadable images may be found online at
http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/rubin/rubin-international-2013/beitraege/beitrag1.html

MS: Most common neurological cause of disabilities in young adults.

Multiple sclerosis is the most common neurological cause of disabilities in young adults. In Germany, it currently affects some 130,000 patients. In MS patients, the body’s own immune system attacks the nerve fibres’ “insulating layer” and destroys it. Typically, all regions of the brain and the spinal cord are affected as the disease progresses. The inflammations result in ataxia, impairment of fine motor skills, as well as concentration loss, bladder function impairment, fatigue and depressive episodes.

Fruit acid approved for use in the food industry

Since the 1990s, various drugs that delay the progression of the disease by altering the immune system have been available. They are not harmful, yet their efficacy is quite limited. Particularly serious cases are treated with chemotherapeutic agent, which, however, may have severe, even life-threatening side effects. Researchers in Bochum have now discovered that an agent long known in the field of dermatology is highly effective in the treatment of MS episodes: fumaric acid ester. Fumaric acid is a fruit acid found in numerous plants and an approved food acidulant that also occurs naturally in the human body. The active agent has been successfully utilised in psoriasis therapy.

50% fewer episodes, 90% fewer inflammation foci

The discovery happened quite by accident: the MS symptoms of patients who suffered from both MS and psoriasis were alleviated following fumaric acid ester treatment. Accordingly, several studies were carried out. Prof Dr Ralf Gold’s team of neurologists have now presented the proof of fumaric acid ester’s efficacy: it triggers protective metabolic pathways in cells. “Nerve cells are thus protected, as if by a firewall, from inflammatory agents, mainly from free radicals and nitrogen monoxide,” explains Prof Gold. A large-scale study with more than 2,400 patients revealed that fumaric acid esters reduce MS episode frequency by up to 50% and the number of inflammatory foci visible in MRI scans by up to 90%. By changing the drug formula, indigestion, a common side effect of fumaric acid ester occurring in some 400 patients treated by the dermatological drug has been considerably reduced to some 3% to 5%. “Highly efficient and yet non-harmful – a wholly new experience in MS therapy!” Prof Gold says happily.
Bibliographic record

Ralf Gold et al.: Placebo-Controlled Phase 3 Study of Oral BG-12 for Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis. In: N Engl J Med 2012; 367:1098-1107, September 20, 2012, DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1114287

Further information

Prof Dr med Ralf Gold, Director at the Neurology Clinic of the Ruhr University Bochum at St. Josef-Hospital, phone 0234/509-2410, ralf.gold@rub.de

Editor: Meike Drießen

Dr. Josef König | idw
Further information:
http://www.ruhr-uni-bochum.de/rubin/rubin-international-2013/beitraege/beitrag1.html

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Study suggests possible new target for treating and preventing Alzheimer's
02.12.2016 | Oregon Health & Science University

nachricht The first analysis of Ewing's sarcoma methyloma opens doors to new treatments
01.12.2016 | IDIBELL-Bellvitge Biomedical Research Institute

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>