Cincinnati plays role in breakthrough multiple sclerosis study

Posted at 4:44 PM, Aug 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-30 19:11:51-04

CINCINNATI -- UC Health played a big part in a study that resulted in a breakthrough in treatment for progressive multiple sclerosis. 

Twenty-eight sites across the country tested the asthma drug Ibudilast on MS patients. Sixteen of the patients were enrolled in Cincinnati. 

The study found that, in Phase 2 MS, the drug slows down the shrinking of the brain that can impact a person's mobility, memory and vision. 

It's a big deal, according to Dr. Aram Zabeti, the director of the UC Health Waddell Center for MS. He said the drug could hit the market and help patients in the next few years.

"Now we can offer them maybe more of a quality of life, and prolong their productivity in their life by offering this neuro-protective agent which slows down the brain atrophy," Zabeti said.

Currently, treatment options for progressive MS are limited, so this is big news.

"It offers hope," said Bill Goetz, one of the patients in the study. "I know when I was diagnosed, only three drugs were available on the market."

Goetz took the money he made from particpating in the study and donated it back to MS research. He said he wants the future to be brighter for people who share his diagnosis.