Ivermectin and Auto-Immune Conditions

Ivermectin and MS

Common Anti-Parasitic Agent Eases Motor Symptoms, Aids Remyelination in MS Mouse Model

by Alice Melão, MSc | July 13, 2018

A common anti-parasitic agent showed a potential to prevent inflammation and to promote nerve cell recovery — remyelination — in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS).

By promoting the activity of a receptor called P2X4R that is present in microglial cells — immune cells that reside in the brain — ivermectin (marketed as Stromectol, or Soolantra) eased the clinical manifestations of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE; an induced autoimmune disease similar to MS in humans).

Specifically, researchers saw evidence suggesting that ivermectin was “a potential candidate among currently used drugs to promote the repair of myelin damage,” they wrote.

Their discovery was reported in the study “P2X4 receptor controls microglia activation and favors remyelination in autoimmune encephalitis,” published in the journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.

“We are witnessing a discovery that is opening up a new channel of pharmacological development for the treatment of the progressive phase of multiple sclerosis, and with it we want to open a new door on improving the life quality of people who suffer multiple sclerosis,” María Domercq, PhD, member of the Achucarro Basque Center for Neuroscience in Spain and senior author of the study, said in a news release.

Immune cells known as microglia play an important role in brain health. They act as a surveillance system to ensure that no foreign elements do harm to brain cells, and at the same time clear damaged cells from the brain. But if abnormally activated, microglia can promote an inflammatory status that, if allowed to continue for long periods, works to injure the brain by leading to chronic inflammation.

An exacerbated microglial response is known to contribute to MS progression by supporting a damaging inflammatory state.

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