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Friday / May 27.
HomeminewsEpilepsy Drug Treats MS Vision Loss

Epilepsy Drug Treats MS Vision Loss

People losing sight due to multiple sclerosis (MS) may be treated with Phenytoin, a drug commonly used to control seizures in people with epilepsy.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

Multiple sclerosis is a neurological condition of the brain and spinal cord. It affects muscle control, vision and balance. Additionally it causes fatigue and a loss of sensation and numbness.

While this auto-immune disease is not fully understood, experts believe it causes the body’s immune system to turn on itself, attacking the myelin sheath which covers the nerves, and in doing so, disrupting signals to and from the brain. A round half of people with MS will also be affected by optic neuritis, a condition in which the optic nerve becomes inflamed, resulting in pain and blurred vision. The condition can even result in blindness.

Researchers at University College London found that Phenytoin had a neuroprotective effect in patients with optic neuritis. In a small phase II clinical trial of 86 people they found that those taking Phenytoin were reported to have 30 per cent less damage to the retinal nerve fibre layer compared with those who received the placebo, and the volume of the macula was 34 per cent higher compared with controls.

Speaking of the findings, study leader Dr. Raj Kapoor said, “These are promising results and, if our findings are confirmed by larger studies, could lead to a new treatment that protects nerves from the damage caused both in optic neuritis and throughout the central nervous system in MS.”

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