Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

UIC tests diabetes drug in treatment of multiple sclerosis

08.06.2004


Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago are launching a clinical trial to determine whether a drug commonly used for diabetes might be effective in treating multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that affects 350,000 Americans.



In an animal model of the disease, the researchers found that the drug reduced the inflammation of nervous tissue that occurs with multiple sclerosis and prevented the aberrant immune response that ends up destroying the body’s own brain and spinal cord.

"At present, few medications have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of multiple sclerosis," said Douglas Feinstein, associate professor of anesthesiology in the UIC College of Medicine. "These drugs are only partially effective, and none helps significantly in the later, progressive forms of the disease. The drugs also have undesirable side effects, and they need to be injected, making them difficult to administer."


The drug being tested, called pioglitazone, is prescribed for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. Marketed by Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, pioglitazone "sensitizes" the body’s cells to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that lets sugar into cells so that it can be converted into energy. People with type 2 diabetes are unable to use insulin efficiently, leading to elevated blood sugar levels (hyperglycemia) and tissue damage.

Research has shown that drugs like pioglitazone not only raise the levels of certain proteins involved in the uptake and metabolism of glucose but also lower the levels of other molecules involved in the immune response and inflammation.

"It is amazing that this drug, at least in animal tests, has shown a dramatic effect on two different targets of multiple sclerosis, namely the immune system and the inflammation process," Feinstein said.

Feinstein also noted that the drug is available as a tablet, simplifying its administration.

The clinical trial will enroll about 30 patients with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, the most common form of the disease. People with this type of multiple sclerosis experience episodes of acute worsening of neurological function, followed by partial or complete recovery. In most patients, the disease will eventually change into a chronic, persistent form, with symptoms worsening throughout life.

Participants in the trial will take a 30-milligram dose of pioglitazone daily for a period of 18 months, during which they will be monitored for any side effects or changes in their symptoms.

"At this stage in the drug trial, we are simply trying to determine whether the drug is safe and can be tolerated by people with multiple sclerosis," Feinstein said. "But we’ll also be doing neurological examinations and biochemical analyses of blood samples, looking for signs of inflammation and immune cell activation to determine whether the drug is having any effect on symptoms of the disease."

Employing UIC’s state-of-the-art magnetic resonance imaging technology, the researchers will do a series of three brain scans over the course of the trial to look for changes in the cerebral lesions associated with multiple sclerosis.

In multiple sclerosis, the T cells of the immune system go awry, attacking proteins in the myelin sheath that insulates the nerve fibers. When the sheath is destroyed, electrical signals that are normally transmitted throughout the brain and spinal cord are disrupted, and the brain is no longer able to correctly send or receive the messages that help control muscle movements.

Patients with multiple sclerosis suffer a range of symptoms, including tingling and numbness, loss of balance, blurry vision, weakness in the limbs, difficulty walking, impaired thinking and even paralysis. The disease affects women about twice as often as men.

In the United States, health care costs for multiple sclerosis are second only to those for Alzheimer’s disease.


Co-directors of the UIC study are Drs. Daniel Hier and Demetrios Skias, in the department of neurology at UIC, and Dr. Dusan Stefoskil, director of the multiple sclerosis clinic at Rush University Medical Center.

The study is funded by Takeda Pharmaceuticals North America, Inc.

Sharon Butler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu/depts/mcam/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht GLUT5 fluorescent probe fingerprints cancer cells
20.04.2018 | Michigan Technological University

nachricht Scientists re-create brain neurons to study obesity and personalize treatment
20.04.2018 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

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: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Getting electrons to move in a semiconductor

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Reconstructing what makes us tick

25.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Cheap 3-D printer can produce self-folding materials

25.04.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>