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Vitamin help for MS

20th September 2006

20072006_physio1.jpgScientists report that Vitamin B3 may protect people with multiple sclerosis from debilitating nerve damage.

MS affects about 85,000 people in the UK and at present there is no effective treatment for the chronic progressive phase of the disease.

The study, by researchers at the Children's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, showed that mice with an MS-like disease experienced less weakness and paralysis if they received regular injections of nicotinamide, a form of vitamin B3.

Shinjiro Kaneko, the lead researcher, believes the chemical protects against progressive nerve damage, which can cause fatigue, pain and behavioural changes.

Both Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the MS Society, and a spokesperson for the MS Trust caution that although the results are interesting, further investigation is needed before the results can be extrapolated to humans.

Researchers hope that the study, which is published in the Journal of Neuroscience, will initiate a clinical trial.

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