A common diabetes drug may offer hope of a new treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) after an animal study showed it can repair nerve damage caused by the condition.
Researchers at Cambridge University gave metformin to rats for three months. They then induced MS by giving the rodents an injection which stripped myelin from the nerves in the brain. The rats continued to receive metformin for another three weeks.
Compared with the animals which had no drug treatment, rats receiving metformin had an almost complete recovery in their damaged myelin.
The scientists were so impressed with the results of the study, which was published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, they are planning to run a metformin trial on people with MS next year. The details of this are yet to be announced.
Metformin is a relatively cheap and available drug and millions of people take it to control type 2 diabetes. It works by lowering blood sugar by improving the body’s response to insulin.
Source: MS-UK 07/10/2019