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FDA approves oral multiple sclerosis medication


MS is a condition that occurs when the fatty outer layer protecting the nerve fibers, called myelin, is damaged. This process is called demyelination , which is an inflammatory condition affecting the speed with which impulses from the brain may travel to the rest of the body.

The central nervous system is responsible for communicating things between the brain and the rest of the body. In the case of MS, these messages are interrupted. This breakdown in communication is what that causes the symptoms of MS.

One of the symptoms of MS is that a patient may no longer be able to walk properly as a result of a breakdown in communication between the brain and the legs. Those affected by this will have been excited to learn that the FDA has approved a drug called Ampyra, made by Acorda, which is designed to help MS sufferers walk faster.

“Trouble with walking is one of the most debilitating problems people with MS face,” said Russell Katz, M.D., director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

According to clinical tests, as reported by, the medication allowed those who took it to walk significantly faster. Approximately 35 percent of patients showed faster walking speeds and 43 percent showed improvement in one of many tests, which led to FDA to recognize the pill’s capabilities.

The way the medication works is to repair damaged nerve signals. While it does not affect the course of the disease or its progression, Ampyra’s results in walking tests speak for themselves. Acorda Therapeutics Inc. hopes to have the medication in the U.S. market by March 2010.

2.5 million people the world over are currently affected by multiple sclerosis.

To find out more about the medication and it’s side effects, click here to read the FDA’s news release.

Find out more about multiple sclerosis.

Celebrities who have been diagnosed with multpiple sclerosis include Richard Pryor.


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