Medical News: Brain Steroids Found Lacking in MS - in Clinical Context, Multiple Sclerosis from MedPage Today
"Individuals with multiple sclerosis (MS) may have impaired production of important neurosteroid molecules in their brains, so replacement therapy could be helpful, researchers said.
Autopsy findings from 16 MS patients showed high expression of micro-RNA molecules in white matter that suppress enzymes responsible for neurosteroid synthesis, particularly allopregnanolone, according to Christopher Power, MD, of the University of Alberta in Edmonton, and colleagues.
The researchers also confirmed that levels of allopregnanolone and other steroids were depressed in the MS patients' white matter, they reported online inBrain.
Similar findings emerged from analyses of mice with experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE), a standard model of MS.
Most strikingly, treating the animals with allopregnanolone partly normalized their behavioral deficits and reduced levels of neuroinflammation and injury to nerve fibers, Power and colleagues indicated.
"These studies are the first report of perturbed neurosteroidogenesis in multiple sclerosis and the related model, EAE, which also showed improved outcomes in terms of neurobehavioural deficits, neuropathology and neuromolecular changes with neurosteroid (allopregnanolone) replacement," they wrote.
"The neurosteroid allopregnanolone, or perhaps closely related compounds, might represent unique therapeutic options for people with multiple sclerosis."