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Antioxidant Drug Effective in Treating MS-like Disease in Mice

Update Date: Dec 27, 2013 02:24 PM EST

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system starts to attack the central nervous system, which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. MS is a chronic illness and can be very debilitating without proper treatment. There is currently no cure for the disease, which is why researchers have been attempting to uncover new and more effective treatment options. In a new study carried out by researchers from Oregon Health & Science University, the team found that an antioxidant was effective in treating a MS-like disease in mice models.

For this study, the researchers had to create a MS-like disease in mice models called experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis [EAE]. The mice were split into four groups, which were an EAE group, an EAE group that was treated with antioxidant MitoQ, a group that was given MitoQ first then EAE, and a control group of mice without the illness.

The researchers found that after two full weeks, the EAE group of mice that received the antioxidant MitoQ had fewer inflammatory markers, increased neuronal activity in the spinal cord region, and a reduced loss of axons. Their EAE symptoms also improved significantly.

"It appears that MitoQ enters neuronal mitochondria quickly, scavenges free radicals, reduces oxidative insults produced by elevated inflammation, and maintains or even boosts neuronal energy in affected cells," Reddy said according to Medical Xpress. "The MitoQ also significantly reduced inflammation of the neurons and reduced demyelination. These results are really exciting. This could be a new front in the fight against MS."

The study was published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta Molecular Basis of Disease.

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