Magazine article USA TODAY

Diabetes Drugs Reduce Symptoms. (Multiple Sclerosis)

Magazine article USA TODAY

Diabetes Drugs Reduce Symptoms. (Multiple Sclerosis)

Article excerpt

Drugs currently used to treat Type 2 diabetes also may prove useful for treatment of multiple sclerosis, according to studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the West Side Veterans Administration Hospital, Chicago. Douglas Feinstein, a research associate professor of anesthesiology, says two antidiabetic drugs called thiazolidinediones, or TZDs, already approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, prevented the development of an animal model of MS in the studies.

The drugs kept the MS-like disease known as experimental auto-immune encephalomyelitis from occurring in healthy mice and reduced symptoms when given to those that were already ill. Moreover, the drugs were effective in two different models of the disease, a chronic form in which the mice became ill and remained sick and one in which they developed a relapsing form of the disease. The antidiabetic TZDs used in the study were originally developed to increase the body's sensitivity to the low levels of insulin present in Type 2 diabetes. Rather than influencing the amount of insulin in the body, these insulin-sensitizing drugs increase the ability of cells and tissue to take up the correct amount of glucose, Feinstein explains. …

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