Researchers in the United Kingdom have shown a reduction in the rate of brain atrophy progression with use of 80-mg simvastatin daily in patients with secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis over a 2-year period.
This article was originally published on the Specialty Pharmacy Times website.
Results of the phase-2 MS-STAT trial indicate that the cholesterol-lowering drug simvastatin may reduce the progression of brain atrophy in patients with secondary-progressive multiple sclerosis (SPMS).
SPMS is a subtype of multiple sclerosis that occurs after the initial phase of MS, relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS). RRMS includes relapsing episodes punctuated by gradual worsening in the baseline symptoms of the disease.
Over approximately 25 years, RRMS progresses to SPMS in approximately 90% of patients. In patients with SPMS, relapses are superimposed over progressively worsening baseline symptoms between each relapse.
Until now, no treatment has shown a definitive effect on slowing the course of disease progression in patients with SPMS. The phase-2 MS-STAT trial included 140 patients with SPMS between the ages of 18 and 65. Patients received 80 mg of simvastatin daily (n = 70) or placebo (n = 70). Over the trial course, assessments of efficacy occurred at months 1, 6, 12, and 24.
In a press release, lead author Dr Jeremy Chataway noted the primary endpoint, stating, "Our main measure of success was to reduce the rate of brain atrophy."
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