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Antioxidant Drug Aims to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

By Daryl H. Bryant (480 words)
Posted in Living with MS on January 28, 2014

There are (6) comments permalink

Antioxidant Drug Aims to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

An antioxidant drug that has been garnering increasing attention from the medical community is showing potential as an effective treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. MitoQ is an orally administered antioxidant agent that is currently under development by the drug company Antipodean Pharmaceuticals. A recent study conducted by researchers at Oregon Health and Science University published in Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) suggests that MitoQ may be a good candidate for the treatment of MS.

Antioxidants and Mitochondrial Damage

Mitochondria are the components in cells that use oxygen to convert fat and carbohydrates into energy. They're also involved in the division of cells as well as in cell death. During the oxidation process, molecules called free radicals can break off from the cell and attach themselves to other cells, altering the cell's DNA. Free radicals are linked to a broad array of diseases and pathologies, including MS. Antioxidants are nutrients that can repair and help prevent oxidative damage.

What is MitoQ?

Developed in 1990s, MitoQ is an antioxidant designed to reduce oxidative damage in mitochondria. While other antioxidants are distributed throughout the cells, MitoQ specifically targets the mitochondria. MitoQ appears to enter the mitochondria, eliminate free radicals, repair oxidative damage and even boost the cell's ability to generate energy. The drug has already been tested in clinical trials as a possible treatment in the prevention of neurodegenerative ailments like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Disease.

MitoQ as a Potential Treatment for MS

In the Oregon Health and Science University study, researchers looked at mice with a disease known as experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE,) which is the rodent equivalent of human MS. MitoQ was administered to mice exhibiting MS-like symptoms. After two weeks, the mice demonstrated increased neuronal activity in their spinal cords, which is a region of the brain affected by MS. The mice also exhibited:

  • A reduced loss of nerve fibers
  • Lower neuron inflammation
  • Fewer of the neurological disabilities associated with MS

Further research is needed to establish exactly how MitoQ protects mitochondria in brain cells. Because MitoQ has already been tested for safety in multiple human trials, however, it has a distinct advantage over other new drugs. Although human tests are still years away, lead researcher P. Hemachandra Reddy called the results exciting. "This could be a new front in the fight against MS," Reddy said.

MS Living Symptom Free is dedicated to bringing you the latest news and information about the newest developments in MS research and treatment. If you or someone you know is living with MS, please feel free to contact me with your questions and comments. The goal of MS Living Symptom Free is to help you enjoy a happier and healthier life.

Comments (6)

Kenny J. Walker posted on: January 28, 2014

My wife Leona has been diagnosed with MS since 2004 and has run the gauntlet with every ms modifying drug out there. She is currently starting the only one she has left "Tecfidera" and the adverse reactions have started again and she is exibiting alergic symptoms again. Her system has been so sensitive to everything she has tried that her depression is constant. She has had no relief from symptoms since before her diagnosis and we need some hope. Any info you could send would be appreciated. She is 55yrs old in June and I would like alot more years with her. She is an extraordinary individual with a heart of gold and needed in this crazy mixed up world we live in! With sincere thanks Kenny Walker

gia piro posted on: January 28, 2014

I would love to be part of this trail when they do it. I was diagnosed with MS in 1995 and now at 45 i cant walk I need my bf to help me with everything thank God i have him I do wish my energy level was better then what it is right now always feel like im at a 0 or negative. This sounds awesome if it works. Thanks for the info. Gia Piro

Rita Trujillo posted on: January 28, 2014

I would love to be a part of a study as well! I& 39;m on copaxone. Diagnosed in 2010. After giving birth to my son. I use a wheelchair most times. Walker in the house and short trips my son and mother help a lot. Give me more info! Sign me up!

Daryl posted on: January 28, 2014

Hi all,

I'm currently on MitoQ, started two days ago and will keep everyone posted over the next several months with my results with it. Here's hoping!!!


Linda Steveson posted on: January 29, 2014

I have had MS since 1987 but didn't get diagnosed until 1999. Since then I've taken Betaseron and Copaxone. Currently I'm not taking anything as I advanced to secondary progressive sometime between 2005 and 2007. I wish there was something other than Tysabry for SP. I can't take Tysabry. I realize the majority of MS patients have RR MS, but there are numerous meds for that and those of us with SP could use some help too. Anyway, I hope this new medication helps as many people as possible.

Cheryl posted on: March 2, 2014

I have been on Tysabri now for 2 1/2 years. I have had my battles with this med but it seems to be working for me at this month could be different! Sign me up for MITO Q. I will try almost anything but the other MS meds!

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