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Clofazimine 'could help MS sufferers'

Clofazimine 'could help MS sufferers'
4th February 2009

A drug that was originally designed to treat tuberculosis and was subsequently unsuccessful has now found to be potentially useful for multiple sclerosis therapy.

Clofazimine is a synthetic compound that was created in the 1980s and it has now been shown to work well as an antileprosy medicine by Johns Hopkins scientists.

The drug was discovered to interfere with a molecular pathway that is important in running the human body's immune response, something that surprised the scientists involved.

"We never expected that an old antibiotic would hit this target that has been implicated in multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and type 1 diabetes," commented Johns Hopkins pharmacologist Jun O Liu.

He added that the drug, which had a presumed target of bacteria, is safe.

Earlier this month, researchers from Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine revealed that a variation in the neuregulin 3 gene plays a part in delusions related to schizophrenia.

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