Parkinson’s drug may work on MS

 

A drug used to treat Parkinson’s disease may provide an effective new therapy for multiple sclerosis, research suggests.

Tests on mice show that the drug, benztropine, stimulates the production of nerve-repairing cells.

MS is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s own defences to attack myelin, a sheath that protects nerve fibres. Cells called oligodendrocytes are able to repair myelin, but their numbers decline sharply in patients with MS.

Researchers at the Scripps institute in California reported in the journal Nature that benztropine effectively enables the oligodendrocytes to revive.

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