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New hope for MS sufferers

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    New hope for MS sufferers

    A Sydney neurologist has raised hopes of a new weapon against Multiple Sclerosis by combining drugs already used to fight the crippling disease.

    The ABC's 7.30 Report said four MS patients had experienced a turnaround in their symptoms after the new treatment by Dr Dan Milder.

    Natasha Bagan was diagnosed with MS only two years ago and a rapid deterioration in her condition prompted her doctor to combine two medicines already in use against the disease.

    "We didn't know what to do," Dr Bagan told the ABC.

    "There's nothing obvious to do, there hasn't been anything that is known to reverse progressive forms of Multiple Sclerosis and she was going down hill."


    Is there any additional text to this post?

    Onward and Upward!


      I think that the story came from this site:

      It is a pretty bad article... It does not say what the treatments are.


        Chris..That was all that was posted on the article at that i went on a search and found the transcript from the ABC's 7.30 report that it was taken from..

        New hope for those with MS

        KERRY O'BRIEN: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a cruel
        and baffling disease, one that attacks the central
        nervous system, mainly in women between the ages
        of 20 and 40.

        Its progress and severity are unpredictable, but at
        its worst it's a slow and painful road to paralysis
        and blindness.

        We don't know the cause, and there's no cure.

        So far medical researchers have been unable to
        progress beyond drug therapies which may reduce
        the severity of attacks, or slow the onset of MS.

        Now, a Sydney neurologist believes he may have
        stumbled upon something promising.

        Tracy Bowden reports.

        DENISE BAGAN: She was happy, very active, lots of

        Never sick.

        She wasn't a sickly child, at all.

        It's devastating, and it's tragic.

        You don't think it's ever going to happen.

        TRACY BOWDEN: Just two years ago, Natasha
        Bagan was an active, healthy young woman with
        everything to look forward to.

        But a shocking diagnosis changed all that.

        NATASHA BAGAN: I had headaches and things like
        that, so I thought well, it must be something

        Then he said, "Oh, I'm thinking it's MS".

        I didn't know what that was.

        But then on the other hand I thought Betty
        Cuthbert, and that's -- I cried.

        TRACY BOWDEN: Sydney neurologist Dan Milder,
        Natasha's doctor, was disturbed by the unusually
        rapid decline in his patient's condition.

        DR DAN MILDER, NEUROLOGIST: We didn't know
        what to do.

        When I say 'we', she presented at a medical
        meeting and there was no consensus and there's
        nothing obvious to do.

        There hasn't been any therapy that is known to
        reverse progressive forms of multiple sclerosis, and
        she was going downhill.

        TRACY BOWDEN: Multiple sclerosis has affected
        Natasha Bagan's central nervous system, the brain
        and spinal cord.

        Normally, messages pass along the body's nerves
        quickly, because the nerve fibres are insulated by a
        protective sheath called myalin.

        In MS both the sheath and the cells that make it
        are attacked.

        Eventually scleroses or scars are formed and the
        messages no longer get through properly.

        DR DAN MILDER: It may affect balance, it may
        affect spinal cord function in the sense of strength,
        sensation, bladder control.

        DENISE BAGAN: There had been a rapid decline.

        He said to me -- well, my husband was told she
        would be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life, she
        would eventually have to go to a nursing home
        because there would be no way that we could look
        after her.

        TRACY BOWDEN: Late last year, Natasha Bagan was
        admitted to hospital.

        DR DAN MILDER: He was unable to walk without a
        person on either side.

        Her vision had deteriorated very strongly.

        There was an appointment made for her to see the
        royal Blind Society.

        It was considered likely she was -- she would be
        functionally blind.

        TRACY BOWDEN: Then Dr Milder took a chance on a
        new combination of two drugs already used in the
        treatment of MS.

        DR DAN MILDER: She had been sensitive to steroids,
        to a form of cortisone and azathioprine is used as a
        steroid-sparing agent, so we thought we would try

        It has been used in multiple sclerosis, but without
        very strong benefit, and so we thought we had to
        add another drug.

        TRACY BOWDEN: Within weeks, Denise and Tony
        Bagan saw slight changes in their daughter.

        Within months, a dramatic change.

        Can you remember the first time you actually
        thought: there's something happening here?

        DENISE BAGAN: The first time I realised something
        was happening is one night I went to the Prince
        Henry rehab and she was standing on the verandah
        waiting for me and I said, "Where's your

        and she said, "I don't use it any more, I walk."

        And that was really exciting.

        TRACY BOWDEN: Natasha Bagan's vision improved

        NATASHA BAGAN: There was a time when even
        before I could only see black and white.

        I was sitting in the lounge and I just said to mum,
        "Oh, I can see colour now".

        TRACY BOWDEN: With Natasha Bagan's promising
        improvement, Dr Milder decided to introduce the
        treatment to other patients.

        DR DAN MILDER: I thought it was likely to be
        significant, so a second patient was then started,
        who'd had the disease for 8 years, who'd been
        deteriorating strongly for the previous 4 years, and
        she also started to improve.

        And then a third, and now a fourth.

        TRACY BOWDEN: Dr Milder believes the treatment
        may allow the myalin around the nerves, damaged
        by MS, to regenerate.

        Could it be a fluke, a coincidence, it's only a

        DR DAN MILDER: No-one to the best of my
        knowledge has had a series where consecutive
        patients have had significant, albeit partial, reversal
        of deficits.

        TRACY BOWDEN: But the Australian Association of
        Neurologists urges caution until there's been further
        scrutiny of the treatment.

        would be, I guess, on the face of it, unlikely that
        the combination of those two drugs would produce
        a miraculous effect.

        One would expect a modest effect at most, but as I
        say this observation needs to be subjected to
        proper scientific scrutiny, and it's certainly not
        disregarded but I guess placed in the appropriate

        these good ideas need to be tested.

        But we can't deny the importance of letting people
        know that there are these potentially good news
        stories on the horizon.

        TRACY BOWDEN: The next step is for clinical trials
        to be carried out.

        Meanwhile, Natasha Bagan's condition seems to
        have plateaued.

        She and her parents know the future is uncertain,
        but what they are certain about is what they see

        DENISE BAGAN: We're excited about it.

        I mean, I don't know how -- I don't know in the
        long run how she'll be.

        I don't know how it will work.

        But as far as I can see it should only just get

        It's all hope.

        It's good.

        KERRY O'BRIEN: Fingers crossed


          Ms people with sp cath's

          Ms is painful and cruel and have to wear sp cath tube 24x7 day to live my house with my husbad. Sometimetims it doesn't hurt but then i get horrible shotting pain.

          What about you all?



            "Where's your

            and she said, "I don't use it any more, I walk."

            To say that someday..

            Let's hope this is working on many, many ms victims!
            Good News
            "It's not the despair, I can handle the despair! It's the hope!" - John Cleese

            Don't ask what clinical trials can do for you, ask what you can do for clinical trials. (Ox)
            Please join me and donate a dollar a day at and copy and paste this message to the bottom of your signature.


              How about Fingolimd