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Amino Acid Common in Energy Drinks May Boost Potency of MS Drug

January 5, 2018

Taurine is an amino acid that is commonly found in energy drinks and supplements. According to a recent study, taurine may also increase the efficacy of multiple sclerosis treatments. It was seen to aid the process of remyelination. The discovery was significant since it was found to increase the demyelination in correlation with increased physical and cognitive disability in patients with MS.

Co-senior author of the study, Luke Lairson, PhD said, “Remission of MS symptoms is dependent on the process of remyelination, so using taurine in combination with an existing MS drug and a future remyelination-inducing treatment may help patients by improving overall efficacy.” He added that this could indeed be added to an MS therapeutic regime.

Authors also stated that these findings could open up the possibility of metabolomic profiling. This is a process that can pinpoint many endogenous metabolites in which the body produces that could be translated into novel therapies. Gary Siuzdak, PhD, the other co-senior author, said we can gain unique insight from metabolomic profiling both mechanistically and therapeutically for many different diseases.

While is no treatment that can cure multiple sclerosis, several treatments do have the ability to reduce relapse rates by prompting remyelination.

In this study, authors increased the efficacy of existing remyelination drugs in order to develop a more effective treatment for MS patients. The potential of endogenous metabolites, which are naturally produced by cells such as sugars, fatty acids and amino acids, had been examined.

The researchers found that endogenous taurine cannot spark oligodendrocyte precursor cell maturation alone, although it can amplify the efficacy of benztropine or miconazole. This ultimately suggests that it may be an effective add-on therapy.
Dr. Lairson said the combination of taurine with drugs that induce differentiation can significantly enhance the process, he also added, “You get more myelin.”

While Dr. Lairson also said they still need to conduct tests on rodent models, their findings are promising, since taurine has been shown to be safe in humans and is commonly used in consumer product.

Another recent study has also found that an OTC allergy drug may repair the nervous system function in MS patients. The study found clemastine fumarate able to restore brain function in both human and animal patients. The authors concluded that these studies do suggest that a cure for MS may be in reach.

Via Specialty Pharm Times