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Plant may help patients with multiple sclerosis (27/05/16)

A recent study has found that Andrographis paniculata (A. paniculata), or green chiretta reduces fatigue in patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) who are also receiving beta interferon, compared those receiving only beta interferon or a placebo.

The study was conducted by JC Bertoglio of the Institute of Medicine at the Austral University in Chile, and colleagues, and was published in BMC Neurology. Green Chiretta is sold as an herbal remedy.

Researchers wanted to learn more about how it affects the relapse rate and fatigue in patients with RRMS who are receiving beta interferon. In order to investigate, they conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial over 12 months. Only 25 patients were enrolled, and of those, 22 were ultimately included in the analysis, so it was a small study.

Although small, the results of this study suggest that further research, with a larger sample size, over a longer period of time, is warranted.

The primary outcome was whether or not green chiretta affected fatigue. The researchers used the Fatigue Severity Score (FSS), which consists of a self-rating questionnaire. The researchers report: “Patients treated with A.paniculata showed a significant reduction in the FSS score compared to the placebo, equivalent to a 44 per cent reduction at 12 months.” The mechanism by which green chiretta reduces fatigue is unknown. However, given the positive results of this study, more research should be conducted, as fatigue is one of the more debilitating symptoms reported by RRMS patients.

The researchers note: “Several pharmacological treatments available for fatigue in people with MS have failed to show clinical efficacy.” A.paniculata was well-tolerated by the participants in this study and the apparent reduction in fatigue makes it a possible pharmacological solution.

Source: Specialty Pharmacy Times Copyright Specialty Pharmacy Times 2006-2016 Intellisphere, LLC (27/05/16)