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The pregnancy hormone estriol in battle multiple sclerosis

May 15th 2014 at 9:41 PM

A hormone, oestriol, belonging to estrogen and is produced in increased amounts during pregnancy, shows great potential in the fight against multiple sclerosis, as indicated by a clinical trial in 158 women patients which did American scientists. Multiple sclerosis ( or MS) is a neurological condition which affects about 2.3 million people worldwide. Due to destruction of myelin, the protective covering of nerves,

due to attack of the same patient's immune system. The symptoms, depending on the gravity-include extreme fatigue, muscle weakness, blurred vision, problems with balance and movement etc. In female patients, the symptoms tend to disappear when becoming pregnant, but worsen after childbirth.

This is attributed to the action of the hormone estriol, which seems to temporarily suppress the suicidal action of the defense mechanism of the pregnant patient. Researchers, led by Ronda Voskoul Panepistimkiou of California (Los Angeles) announced the preliminary results of the clinical trial at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology in Philadelphia, according to the "New Scientist",

examined whether it is possible to benefit from this hormone women with multiple sclerosis who are not pregnant. Americans scientists issued daily to 86 from 158 8 milligrams estriol patients, along with their regular medication (Copaxone). These women were the most common form of the disease, relapsing - remitting MS,

showing periodic remissions and relapses. After a year of administration of estriol, these patients had an average of 47% fewer relapses compared with other women of the clinical test, which took the drug Copaxone and placebo (placebo) instead of estriol. After two years, the recurrence rate was 32% lower compared with the control group,

which meant, in Ronda Voskoul, that estriol could not longer offers something more. Moreover, as indicated by the clinical trial, women who were getting estriol, achieved better performance (6% on average) on cognitive -

cognitive tests were compared with the control group. This, researchers, shows that there was probably a partial restoration of the damaged brain cells. Previous experiments on rats suffering from sclerosis, have shown that estriol penetrates into the brain and protective function for neurons. Furthermore, other studies have shown that people estriol protects the fetal brain by stress, such as from the lack of oxygen

. research team now plans a larger clinical trial to confirm the initial findings. Until then, he said the researcher, patients should not take themselves estriol. Among other things, this hormone is contained in hormonal preparations used in the treatment of postmenopausal women to prevent osteoporosis.

Scientists warn that, at present, there are open questions, such as the question of the precise dosage and whether estriol "works" alone, without the help of a drug for curing such as Copaxone. However until now the experiments with mice, according to Ronda Voskoul, give indications that the hormone effectively acts as a safeguard and of itself - which will be tested in the following clinical trial in humans.

If there is confirmation, then estriol will be probably a cheaper alternative to existing drug therapies in multiple sclerosis. Moreover, question remains, to what extent estriol may help men with MS. Maybe for them, according to the researchers, testosterone is the best solution, as this male hormone is converted to estrogen in the brain, which also act protective against the disease. Men produce about 1% less testosterone after the age of 30 and this may explain why the condition typically exhibit the age of 30 to 40.

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