Posted by Pankhuri Kapoor on January 25, 2010

Acorda Therapeutics, the manufacturers of the drug ‘Ampyra’ or ‘dalfampridine’ claim that it is not meant to cure multiple sclerosis but trial results indicated a positive effect of the medicine on walking.

Side-effects of the drug
The drug that helps the MS patients in walking showed some side-effects in more than two per cent of the patients who tried it. This figure was high as compared to patients who did not take the drug.

The company officials said, “Adverse effects include urinary tract infection, insomnia, dizziness, headache, nausea, asthenia, back pain, balance disorder, multiple sclerosis relapse, paresthesia, nasopharyngitis, constipation, dyspepsia, and pharyngolaryngeal pain,”

The manufacturers also warned against the dangers of drug overdose that could result in seizures.

Adolescent obesity triggers multiple sclerosis
A study conducted by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, Massachusetts in November 2009 suggests that childhood or adolescent obesity may enhance the risk of developing MS.

Dr K L Munger and his colleagues considered factors like obesity in different age groups and the risk of multiple sclerosis in 1,21,700 women participating in the Nurses’ Health Study I and 1,16,671 women participating in part II of the study.

On analysis, it was found that 18-year-olds having body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30 were twice more likely to develop MS than those having a lesser BMI.

Dr K L Munger informs, “Obese adolescents have an increased risk of developing multiple sclerosis and this result suggests that prevention of adolescent obesity may contribute to reduced MS risk.”

Deficiency of vitamin D has also been associated as a cause for developing multiple sclerosis and people having high levels of vitamin D serum in their bodies were found to be at a reduced risk of having MS.

The study and its findings have been published in the November 2009 issue of the medical journal titled ‘Neurology’.

MS Fact file
Multiple sclerosis is a neurodegenerative disorder that hits the central nervous system in the brain and spine.

The ailment that results in physical disability is generally diagnosed in people in the age group of 20 to 50 years.

Data suggests that multiple sclerosis has affected more than 4,00,000 Americans till now and researchers have failed in finding any treatment for this disorder.

However, past studies have shown that the risk of developing the disorder could be reduced by shunning extra weight and eating a proper diet from early life.

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