Wednesday, 9 April, 2003
A revolutionary new treatment is bringing hope to people recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge is testing the drug Campath over the next three years.
The drug works by stopping rogue cells in the patient's immune system from attacking nerves in the brain.
Among patients testing the drug is Patrick Cutter, from Norwich, whose MS was diagnosed 18 months ago.
When his MS is bad it makes a big impact on what he can and cannot do.
"At my worst I have lost my mobility. I have had difficulty walking, trouble with my motion and difficulty with my vision," he said.
The drug works on those who have not had multiple sclerosis for too long by reversing how their immune system attacks the nerves in their brain.
"If you let multiple sclerosis go on too long then whatever treatment you give to suppress the inflamation in the brain it will make no difference," said Dr Alistair Coles, of Addenbrooke's.
"What we are trying to do is treat early and treat aggressively."
The trial, the first of its kind in England, will continue for three years.
More than 85,000 people suffer from multiple sclerosis in Britain.
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