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    You are here : Home » MS Research News » New Discoveries » Recombinant Human Erythropoietin

    Recombinant Human Erythropoietin

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    Exploring recombinant human erythropoietin in chronic progressive multiple sclerosis
    The neurodegenerative aspects of chronic progressive multiple sclerosis (MS) have received increasing attention in recent years, since anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive treatment strategies have largely failed. However, successful neuroprotection and/or neuroregeneration in MS have not been demonstrated yet. Encouraged by the multifaceted neuroprotective effects of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) in experimental models, we performed an investigator-driven, exploratory open label study (phase I/IIa) in patients with chronic progressive MS. Main study objectives were (i) evaluating safety of long-term high-dose intravenous rhEPO treatment in MS, and (ii) collecting first evidence of potential efficacy on clinical outcome parameters.

    Eight MS patients, five randomly assigned to high-dose (48 000 IU), three to low-dose (8000 IU) rhEPO treatment, and, as disease controls, two drug-naďve Parkinson patients (receiving 48 000 IU) were followed over up to 48 weeks: A 6-week lead-in phase, a 12-week treatment phase with weekly EPO, another 12-week treatment phase with bi-weekly EPO, and a 24-week post-treatment phase. Clinical and electrophysiological improvement of motor function, reflected by a reduction in expanded disability status scale (EDSS), and of cognitive performance was found upon high-dose EPO treatment in MS patients, persisting for three to six months after cessation of EPO application. In contrast, low-dose EPO MS patients and drug-naďve Parkinson patients did not improve in any of the parameters tested. There were no adverse events, no safety concerns and a surprisingly low need of blood-lettings.

    This first pilot study demonstrates the necessity and feasibility of controlled trials using high-dose rhEPO in chronic progressive MS.

    Hannelore Ehrenreich1, Benjamin Fischer1, Christine Norra1, Felix Schellenberger1, Nike Stender1, Michael Stiefel2, Anna-Leena Sirén1, Walter Paulus3, Klaus-Armin Nave1,4, Ralf Gold4 and Claudia Bartels1

    1Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine, Departments of 2Radiology and 3Clinical Neurophysiology, Georg-August-University and 4Hertie Institute of Multiple Sclerosis Research, Göttingen, Germany

    Source: Brain Copyright © 2007 Guarantors of Brain (30/08/07)

    © Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre

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