Doctors are encouraged by the results of a new study using a medication called Rituxan to help patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic, inflammatory, demyelinating disease that affects the central nervous system. Disease onset usually occurs in young adults, is more common in women, and has a prevalence that ranges between 2 and 150 per 100,000 depending on the country or specific population. MS was first described in 1868 by Jean-Martin Charcot.
Rituxan is used to treat non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis.
Non-Hodgkin lymphoma describes a group of cancers arising from lymphocytes, a type of white blood cell. It is distinct from Hodgkin lymphoma in its pathologic features, epidemiology, common sites of involvement, clinical behavior, and treatment. The non-Hodgkin lymphomas are a diverse group of diseases with varying courses, treatments, and prognoses.
Scientists found that MS patients who got Rituxan had a reduced number of brain lesions and a lower chance of relapse than those taking a placebo.
The fact that Rituxan seems to improve MS symptoms imply it may share similarities to non-Hodgkins lymphoma and rheumatoid arthritis.