The MS-SMART trial will look at drugs that may limit the progression of MS. Researchers have been recruiting people with secondary progressive MS from across the UK, but are still in need of more people to volunteer to take part.
The trial will involve three drugs that are currently licensed for other conditions:
- fluoxetine for treating depression
- riluzole for motor neurone disease
- amiloride for high blood pressure and heart disease
Studying drugs where the safety profile is already known potentially shaves years off the time usually needed to test newly-developed treatments. Previous studies have suggested that these drugs might be neuroprotective - protecting nerves from further damage from MS.
Participants will take one of the drugs or placebo for two years, but no one will know which treatment they are taking while the trial in on-going.
The main criteria for taking part in MS-SMART are:
- A diagnosis of SPMS
- Aged 25 to 65 (inclusive)
- Steady progression of clinical disability in the preceding 2 years
- Still able to walk at least 20 metres (with the support of 2 crutches) or up to 500 metres without help
- Able to have an MRI
- Not on certain medications including: MS disease modifying drugs, fluoxetine, citalopram, escitalopram, and sertraline.
There are study centres across the UK, but the researchers are in particular need for more participants in the London area.
The MS Trust is not involved in the recruitment for this study. For further details about the study, visit the MS-Smart website which lists the hospitals involved in the study, more details on taking part and the opportunity to express an interest in participating.
You can also contact Dr Domenico Plantone at UCL, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London on firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07572898453.