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Leslie A Hammer

Relapse-remitting multiplesclerosis (RR-MS) is a chronic disorder involving inflammatory attacks on the CentralNervous System. RR-MS affects about 350,000 people in the U.S. significantlyreducing their quality of life. The Opioid Growth Factor (OGF)-Opioid GrowthFactor Receptor (OGFr) pathway has been reported to be involved in experimentalautoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Blockade of OGF-OGFr interaction using low dosages of the opioidantagonist naltrexone (LDN) alters the course of disease.

At the Experimental Biology conference held in San Diego recently (April 2014), Leslie A. Hammer, a graduate student in Anatomy, presented a poster and talk about her pre-clinical work conducted in the laboratories of Drs Zagon and McLaughlin at the Department of Neural and Behavioral Sciences, Penn State University College of Medicine, Hershey, Pennsylvania, USA.  Her study was entitled  “Low dose naltrexone inhibits the progression of clinical disease in established relapse-remitting experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis - a model for multiple sclerosis”.  

Within 9 days of LDN treatment mice had markedly reduced mean behavioral scores compared to controls.  In the LDN group, 80% of the mice had complete remission (behavioral scores of 0.5 or less) during the 40 day observation period.  Moreover, LDN-treated mice demonstrated a 4-fold increase in mild disease scores relative to controls.

The results indicate that modulation of the OGF-OGFr pathway by LDN in established RR-EAE inhibited the severity of initial flair and limited the progression of clinical disease, with many LDN-treated mice showing complete remission. These observations support LDN as a non-toxic/safe biotherapy for the treatment of RR-MS.

By participating at this event, Leslie was able to raise the profile of LDN and OGF into the scientific/medical community which attracted some media attention.  We are pleased that donations received from LDN users facilitated the exposure of such important work allowing it to gain traction.

Formore information on Dr Zagon and Dr McLaughlin’s work, please click here