Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Blood pressure drug may help treat MS

A drug commonly used to treat high blood pressure may also double as a multiple sclerosis treatment. A new study shows the inexpensive blood pressure drug lisinopril blocked development of multiple sclerosis in laboratory mice bred to develop the disease. And when the drug was given to mice with full-blown symptoms of multiple sclerosis, it reversed their paralysis without affecting their overall immunity. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive disease in which the body's immune system malfunctions and can eventually lead to paralysis or even death. The disease is difficult to treat without compromising normal immune function and protection. But researcher Lawrence Steinman, MD, of Stanford University says multiple sclerosis and high blood pressure both involve inflammatory processes that may benefit from treatment with lisinopril. If future studies confirm these results, lisinopril may provide a less expensive treatment alternative for multiple sclerosis. The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined the effects of treatment with lisinopril in mice bred to develop brain lesions similar to those found in people with multiple sclerosis after being given a disease-triggering chemical

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