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Drug Can Make MS Patients Mobile

The UK's Multiple Sclerosis Society affirmed that frampridine, a drug used to treat the disease, can dramatically improve living conditions for some patients.

The wonder drug has been approved in its next test stage, manufacturers claim. The drug company Acorda tested frampridine on 240 MS patients, out of which two-fifths of these confirmed progress. Now Acorda is planning to obtain a US safety license by 2009.

MS patients encounter great difficulty in access to their daily needs due to mobility problems and wheelchairs have to support many of them to move around routinely.

Immune systemdefine of the body lets a fatty protein called myelin insulate the signals to nerves. This condition results in hazy eyesight, problems in balancing body and weakness in the limbs.

The drug defers loss of potassium from nerve cells thereby improving the condition. The drug is devised for patients who have the capability to stay mobile but their progress is not speeding up. People who seemed to respond to the drug well could cover a distance of 25 feet in much lesser time than others. Their leg strength saw improvement with the drug.

Chief executive of Acorda, Ron Cohen, said: "There is no approved treatment today that addresses walking disability for patients with multiple sclerosis. It is a fundamental feature of multiple sclerosis and one of the most worrisome features because it can imply loss of independence."

By and large, recovery of the disease does not speed up as desired but it imparts a lot of mobility to the anguished.

A MS Society spokesperson said that the drug makers seeking a US license is an "exciting news".

"MS can severely affect people's mobility and in turn their sense of independence. The society would welcome any drug that is proven to help with walking disability and allow people with MS to regain some of their freedom" he added.

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