Raleigh doctors testing multiple sclerosis drug

August 20, 2008 9:57:19 AM PDT
Doctors at Raleigh Neurology are giving patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) hope by taking part in a nationwide clinical trial.

The office just began testing a drug for patients with secondary progressive MS to see if it can slow the progression of the disease.

About a half million people in the U.S. have multiple sclerosis. Marty Belin is one of them. She was diagnosed in 1994.

"My left side -- my legs -- and my hand weren't working well intermittently," explained Belin. In the last 8 years, Belin's MS has slowly been progressing making walking difficult. "Walking is no longer a pleasure," said Belin. "It's an ordeal, it's just exhausting."

Belin now has secondary progressive MS -- an advanced and debilitating form of the disease which has no treatment.

But, by working with Dr. Mitchell Freedman at Raleigh Neurology, she's hoping to change that by participating in a clinical trial testing a new MS drug. "Basically, to not get worse is what I'm hoping for," said Belin.

"We're giving a medication which is being given intravenously every 6 months," explained Dr. Freedman. "We're following the patients with secondary progressive disease to see if we can slow the progression of the disease."

Raleigh Neurology is one of about 65 facilities across the country participating in this clinical trial and they are still looking for MS patients to enroll.

"The patients we're specifically looking for are those with secondary progressive MS," said Freedman. "And, we encourage those patients to get in touch with our research coordinator."

Right now, it's too early to tell if the drug is working for Marty Belin. It will be two years before all the data is complete. But, just knowing she's taking part in a clinical trial that just might help slow her disease is enough for her.

"There are some odds for me and there's some odds for everyone so why not try it?" said Belin.

For more information on Raleigh Neurology click here: http://www.raleighneurology.com.


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