Here’s news that gave me reason to create a new category: Reasons for Hope

Driving home for lunch yesterday I caught just enough of Paul Harvey’s broadcast to hear something about Prozac, Multiple Sclerosis and reduced number of lesions on MRIs. I mentioned it to my wife when I arrived home and then searched the web for more information. (I started at PaulHarvey.com, but didn’t have time to relisten to the broadcast. It would be great if the broadcast transcripts were available on Mr. Harvey’s website – and maybe they are, but I couldn’t find them.)

Here’s what I found:

In Fluoxetine Show Promise in Multiple Sclerosis on the Medscape.com web site, the author describes the results of a small study which were presented at ECTRIMS 2007: 23rd Congress of the European Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis. The article is dated October 16, 2007, so we’re not dealing with “new” news.

I think the reason Paul Harvey’s broadcast mentioned it is because the study is about to be printed in Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry.

The study conducted by Jop P. Mostert, MD, and his colleagues at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands, showed a reduction in new gadolinium-enhancing lesions in the study’s patients with relapsing-remitting or relapsing secondary progressive MS who received Fluoxetine (the generic name for Prozac).

Read the article for the study’s details or search the web for Prozac + “Multiple Sclerosis” for additional information.

Here are some of the reason I created the “Reasons for Hope” category for this article:

  1. This study was not funded by any pharmaceutical firm. Funding wasn’t an influence.
  2. Fluoxetine/Prozac has been around for a long time and is generally well-tolerated (unlike other MS treatments).
  3. This isn’t a “new” new thing – Dr. Mostert’s report mentioned that, as early as 1991, psychiatrists were reporting that fluoxetine/Prozac was having a positive effect on MS patients.
  4. A list of Multiple Sclerosis Drug Treatments indicates the medication is already prescribed to MS patients for “depression without anxiety“.  And, as mentioned in the study report, psychiatrists were reporting positive effects of Prozac on MS as early as 1991.

Remember, I’m not offering (nor am I qualified to offer) medical advice, merely reporting what I’ve heard on the radio and read of Mostert’s study. Talk about this with your neurologist.

Caregiver Tip: Do your own research on the impact of Prozac on MS and talk to your doctor. It may be something worth considering.

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