Researchers Delve Into Hormone Therapy for MS
Estrogen therapy is recommended primarily for the management of menopause, but new research shows potential benefits of this therapy for MS as well. Recent studies have found that estrogen combined with the drug Copaxone (used for relapsing forms of MS) can help improve the MS symptoms.
The research, funded by the National Institutes of Health, involved over 150 MS patients diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS. Patients received both Copaxone and either the estrogen hormone (in the form of estriol, 8 mgs) or a placebo every day over a two-year period. After one year, patients who received Copaxone and estrogen had experienced a greater decrease in relapse rates compared with those who received the MS drug and dummy pills. However, after two years the difference in symptom improvement between the estrogen and control group was not as significant.
The study was a Phase II trial, and therefore more research is needed before the benefits of estrogen for MS can confirmed.