Multiple Sclerosis Community
9.23k Members
Avatar universal

Here is something interesting if you have initial symptoms of MS

This was in the news today.
A clinical trial led by doctors Luanne Metz and Wee Yong shows the common acne medicine minocycline can slow the process of MS in people who have experienced initial symptoms of the debilitating autoimmune disease. The clinical trial that led to minocycline’s proved efficacy was conducted at the university’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the Cumming School of Medicine.
The results of the trial are to be published in the New England Journal of Medicine on Thursday.
2 Responses
Avatar universal
The article said you just have to get your doctor to write a script for the acne medicine.
987762 tn?1331027953
Hi there, the acne medication to combat MS news was first hitting online sites back in 2007....

"A clinical trial led by doctors Luanne Metz and Wee Yong shows the common acne medicine minocycline can slow the process of MS"   https://www.thestar.com/life/health_wellness/2007/10/26/acne_drug_enlisted_to_battle_ms.html

the original Star article mainly mentioned a women who'd been taking the acne medication since 2002 but the Star's latest update coming out in recent days (31, may, 2017) is more informative but to be clear......this research project was only focusing on patients diagnosed with 'clinically isolated syndrome' (1 demyelination attack) and not patients diagnosed with RRMS (2+ demyelination attacks = MS)

"The research was led by clinicians and scientists at the university’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute. The Phase 3 clinical trial included 142 participants with early signs of possible MS, between the ages 18 and 60, at 12 MS clinics across Canada, in cities such as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto and Halifax.

The selected participants had experienced a first attack of possible MS —known as a clinically isolated syndrome (CIS), in which early signs suggestive of MS appear on a brain MRI. Common symptoms last many days and include reduced or lost vision in one eye; double vision; or numbness, tingling or weakness in the legs and/or arms.

Many patients will go on to experience a second attack, confirming an MS diagnosis, within six months. The researchers randomized study participants to receive 100 mg twice daily of the oral drug minocycline or a placebo.

Over six months of treatment, about twice as many people in the placebo group developed MS, compared with those who took minocycline. In absolute numbers, 61 per cent of the 70 participants in the placebo group developed MS, compared with 33 per cent of the 72 people taking the acne drug.

“(Minocycline) decreases the likelihood of getting MS in that six-month period,” said study author V. Wee Yong, who’s also a professor in the university’s Department of Clinical Neurosciences."

Keep in mind that 33 % of the 72 CIS patients, so around 24 out of the 72 who were taking the acne drug in this study, progressed within a 6 month period to be diagnosed with MS. 6 months is a very short window of opportunity when there are already mitigating circumstances with the risk factors of conversion from CIS to MS, as in the type of presenting symptoms increases/lessens your conversion rate.

If your neurologically normal and or your MRI lesions are clinically silent, no lesions etc there's already a 20% risk of conversion but an abnormal MRI consistent with demyelination has a higher 60-80% conversion rate and  the researchers are saying within a 2 year period, there actually isn't a difference in conversion between the placebo and controls group....

"In the new study, the six-month risk of conversion to MS was 33.4 percent with 100 mg of minocycline twice daily versus 61.0 percent in the placebo group. When the researchers adjusted for the results of MRI scans, the odds rose to 43.0 percent with minocycline but stayed the same with placebo.

Yet after two years, the unadjusted risk was comparable in the two groups, raising the possibility that the benefit may not last."

Unfortunately i've not been able to access the published research to work out why this project is hitting the news as being meaningful, when from my understanding of CIS it's actually not giving us anything when conversion to MS is so highly unpredictable..

"After a CIS, the delay of apparition of a relapse, which corresponds to the conversion to clinically definite MS (CDMS), varies from several months to more than 10 years (10-15% of cases, generally called benign RRMS)......However, time to conversion remains highly unpredictable for a given patient and CIS can remain isolated, especially for idiopathic unilateral optic neuritis or myelitis. "

My two cents and some additional information for anyone who's interested..........JJ

This is the article I read

and here is his quote.
"“This is a defining moment,” said Yong, who made the discovery. “This is going to be the first oral medication shown to have effectiveness in early MS.”"

Maybe the NEJ of M publication today will provide more useful data.

Have an Answer?
Top Neurology Answerers
987762 tn?1331027953
5265383 tn?1483808356
1756321 tn?1547095325
Queensland, Australia
1780921 tn?1499301793
Queen Creek, AZ
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Find out how beta-blocker eye drops show promising results for acute migraine relief.
In this special Missouri Medicine report, doctors examine advances in diagnosis and treatment of this devastating and costly neurodegenerative disease.
Here are 12 simple – and fun! – ways to boost your brainpower.
Discover some of the causes of dizziness and how to treat it.
Discover the common causes of headaches and how to treat headache pain.
Two of the largest studies on Alzheimer’s have yielded new clues about the disease