The anti-inflammatory properties of common cholesterol-controlling pills, could help halt the brain damage associated with multiple sclerosis (MS), according to new findings published in The Lancet, a medical journal, and reported by ABC News.

For the promising new study, researchers at the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London gave 140 patients with the most severe form of MS, secondary progressive multiple sclerosis, high doses of statins—about double the amount usually prescribed by doctors to keep patients’ cholesterol levels in check.

At the end of the trial, scientists found that the MS patients who took double the usual dose of statins showed 43 percent less brain shrinkage.

Jeremy Chataway, MA, PhD, a neurologist and lead author of the study, called the findings “an exciting first step” in the search of a treatment for patients who are either already bed- or wheelchair-bound or almost disabled by this form of MS.

Some researchers believe that the findings show a way to treat and help restore abilities MS patients have lost. But other scientists stress that the findings are still very preliminary and it will be some time before researchers fully understand the relationship between statins and multiple sclerosis.

Today, nearly 400,000 Americans suffer from MS. The disease causes brain and spinal cord damage that disrupts the nervous system’s ability to communicate and there are currently no treatments for the severe form of the illness.

Still, scientists feel the findings are promising. But they also caution that the study’s results must be confirmed in advanced trials.
Studies show that African Americans with multiple sclerosis have greater disease severity when compared with white MS patients. Click here for more information.