Clinical trial launches to see whether vitamin D helps treat multiple sclerosis

April 19th, 2012
Doctors at several centers across the U.S. are recruiting people who have multiple sclerosis (MS) to determine the effectiveness of high-dose vitamin D supplements for reducing MS disease activity. The vitamins would be added to standard therapy with glatiramer acetate (Copaxone®, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries). The study, funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, is being led by Ellen Mowry, MD, MCR, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Other cities with centers recruiting participants include Portland, St. Louis, and San Francisco, and additional centers are being established.

A number of genetic and environmental factors influence whether a person will get MS. These factors may also impact the severity of the disease. Mounting evidence has been pointing to a reduced level of vitamin D in the blood as a risk factor for developing MS. In lab mice, vitamin D can reduce the effects of EAE, an MS-like disease, and growing evidence suggests it is time to test whether vitamin D can provide benefits to people who have MS.

Investigators are seeking 172 clinical trial participants between the ages of 18 and 50, who have been diagnosed with the relapsing-remitting form of MS. More details on the enrollment criteria are available at: http://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01490502.

Participants will begin standard Copaxone treatment daily and will be randomly assigned to take the current recommended daily allowance of vitamin D or a high dose. The primary goal of the study is to determine whether vitamin D can reduce the proportion of people who experience a relapse. Other outcomes being studied include relapse rates, quality of life, brain tissue volume, disability progression, and safety.

More information:
www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01490502

Provided by National Multiple Sclerosis Society

This Phys.org Science News Wire page contains a press release issued by an organization mentioned above and is provided to you “as is” with little or no review from Phys.Org staff.

More news stories

Titan's subsurface reservoirs modify methane rainfall

(Phys.org) —The international Cassini mission has revealed hundreds of lakes and seas spread across the icy surface of Saturn's moon Titan, mostly in its polar regions. These lakes are filled not with water ...

A single molecule device for mobile phones

Researchers from the Delft University of Technology, Groningen University and the FOM Foundation have designed a single molecule which can act as a useful building block in nanometer-size circuits. They found ...

Ebola kills 31 people in DR Congo: WHO

An outbreak of the Ebola virus in the Democratic Republic of Congo has killed 31 people and the epidemic remains contained in a remote northwestern region, UN the World Health Organization (WHO) said Tuesday.

Single laser stops molecular tumbling motion instantly

In the quantum world, making the simple atom behave is one thing, but making the more complex molecule behave is another story. Now Northwestern University scientists have figured out an elegant way to stop a molecule from ...