More MS news articles for September 2002

Immunosuppressants and multiple sclerosis

Rev Neurol 2002 Aug 16;35(4):373-9
Ruiz Pe a JL, Izquierdo Ayuso G.
Hospital Universitario Virgen Macarena, Sevilla, Espa a.


Technological progress, improvements in the design of clinical trials and in MRI have led to a great variety of therapeutical approaches in dealing with multiple sclerosis (MS), some of which have been successful while others less so, despite promising results from animal models.


In this paper we review the present state of therapy with immunosuppressants in MS and special attention is paid to trials conducted with cladribine, linomide, sulfasalazine, ciclophosphamide, mitoxantrone, cyclosporine A and azatioprine.


Severe, unspecific immunosuppression lowers the anatomopathological and clinical activity of the disease, with slight improvements in the seizure rates and the MRI. While no effects have been found on the progression, serious short and long term side effects have been observed which, in some cases, prevent it from being administered. However, it is true that proof of the efficiency of these products may not have been possible owing to methodological problems they might be more useful alone or in combination with immunomodulators.