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Brain Hemisphere in MS Connections Improved with Ampyra

June 6, 2016

Researchers at the MRN (Mind Research Network) have come to believe that an improvement in axonal function might also contribute to better Multiple Sclerosis outcomes. They analyzed the function of nerve axon connections between the two brain hemispheres by using Ampyra (dalfampridine), which showed that their function could be analyzed with a simple test.

Nonprofit organization MRN, consisting of an association of scientists spread across academic institutions around the country who are working toward advances in discovery and development of clinical solutions for brain disorders, teamed up with the University Of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. The collaborative groups published the study, “Impacts of Dalfampridine on Interhemispheric Relationships in Multiple Sclerosis”.

It was explored whether the MS medication dalfampridine affected the function of neural connections linking the two brain hemispheres. The corpus callosum, a pathway composed of around 200 million axons, is what allows the two parts of the brain to work together.

Ten MS patients that ranged in ages of 25 to 65 took part in the study where they were evaluated using visual-motor, cognitive and neuroimaging tests, cognitive assessments, a neurological examination and a 25-foot walk timed speed test. The dalfampridine treatment was implemented after the patients had been enrolled in the study, which allowed for pre-treatment measurements to be made. Patients were tested again after 14-21 days of treatment and another time after a 7-14 day period without the dalfampridine.

When compared to the control individuals, MS patients displayed dysfunctional connections between the two brain hemispheres. It was found that the dalfampridine improved integration between both hemispheres in a larger group of MS patients which was evident by their visual-motor and electrophysiological reaction times. The patients that showed longer integration times tended to show a bigger change in responses to dalfampridine in comparison to patients whose “values were closer to normal”.