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Psoriasis medication rises hope in the fight against multiple sclerosis
Date:3/7/2011

Fumaric acid salts have been in use against severe psoriasis for a long time. About ten years ago, researchers in Bochum speculated that they may also have a favourable effect on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) as a result of their TH2 polarizing mechanisms. In parallel to phase III studies, research is actively searching for the precise effective mechanisms. This has now been achieved by a neuroimmunological group at Bochum: fumaric acid salts detoxify radicals released during the inflammation process. In this way, they protect nerve and glial cells. Neurologists at the Ruhr University Hospital, St. Josef Hospital, working with Prof. Dr. Ralf Gold report early online in the leading neurology journal BRAIN.

Previous history. inspiration from dermatology

Like Multiple Sclerosis, psoriasis is an auto-immune disease, in which the immune system attack the body's own cells. In MS, the "insulating myelin layer" of the axons is destroyed in this way. About ten years ago, the RUB dermatologist Prof. Peter Altmeyer informed his colleague, the neurologist Prof. Horst Przuntek, that the mixture of fumaric acid salts registered for treatment of psoriasis under the trade name FUMADERM could possibly exert favourable effects in MS as well. In turn, the Swiss manufacturer Fumapharm sponsored a small study in Bochum. Ten patients were examined for a period of 48 weeks (Schimrigk et al European Journal of Neurology 2006, 13: 604�). In Parallel to this, Fumapharm supported basic research which Prof. Gold then performed at his MS Institute in Gttingen (Schilling et al. Clin Exp Immunology 2006; 145: 101-107).

Fumaric acid salts detoxify radicals and protect nerve cells

After that, the scenario moved rapidly: the US pharmaceutical company BiogenIdec with its focus in MS research took over Fumapharm AG and initiated a successful Phase II study (Kappos, Gold, Lancet 2008; 372: 1463󈞴). Parallel to this, the group arou
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Contact: Dr. Ralf Gold
49-023-450-92410
Ruhr-University Bochum
Source:Eurekalert

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