MS lesions halved with antibiotics use

Adding antibiotics to current multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment could help prevent relapses by halving the number of brain lesions formed by the condition, US researchers suggest.

Patients with relapsing-remitting MS are prescribed interferon beta-1a, but many experience relapses and continue to develop areas of damaged brain tissue, say the researchers.

For this latest study, the researchers examined 15 patients with relapsing-remitting MS who had been taking interferon for at least six months but were experiencing symptoms and developing new brain lesions. For four months, participants were given 100mg doxycycline daily with interferon treatment.

They also underwent monthly neurological examinations and MRI brain scans.

The researchers found that the combination treatment had resulted in fewer brain lesions.

The average number of brain lesions decreased from 8.8 per MRI scan to four after antibiotic use was added to the treatment.

Using a scale ranging from 1.5 to 4.5 to measure increasing disability levels, the researchers found that antibiotic treatment reduced disability severity from 3.8 to 2.3.

One patient experienced a relapse and two experienced adverse effects, such as muscle pain because of the combination treatment.

Lead researcher Dr Alireza Minagar, from the Louisiana State University Health Centre, said: 'There is interest in combination therapy in patients with MS to reduce the rates of relapses.

'Oral doxycycline and interferon beta-1a may be effective in patients with MS.'

- Live links at

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins


Already registered?

Sign in

Follow Us:

Just published

Health worker prepares a dose of COVID-19 vaccine

JCVI backs autumn COVID-19 booster campaign for high-risk adults and NHS staff

Frontline health and social care staff and adults at increased risk of severe illness...

GP consultation

Government accused of 'misleading' claims on general practice workforce

GP leaders have accused the government of making misleading claims about the general...

Consulting room door

LMC calls for enhanced access to be scrapped after abuse forces practice to close reception

A Midlands LMC has backed a practice forced to close its reception desk after abuse...

BMA chair Dr Chaand Nagpaul

UK government 'failed in duty of care to doctors' in pandemic, BMA warns

The UK government failed in its duty of care towards doctors and other healthcare...

Person signing a document

Up to 200 PCNs have formed limited companies

At least 100 PCNs - and potentially double that figure - have become limited companies...

A meeting with one person on a video conference screen

Improving learning log entries in GP training: a reflection on leadership

Dr Prashini Naidoo looks at a typical e-portfolio learning log entry (LLE) and discusses...