New indications for old drugs: Do statins, angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitors or proton pump inhibitors impact long-term disease progression in multiple sclerosis?

The most widely prescribed drugs for multiple sclerosis (beta interferons) have been shown to be only partially effective while carrying high costs and adverse side-effects. However, statins, angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are effective against lipids, blood pressure, and acid, respectively, are safe, relatively inexpensive, and also have anti-inflammatory and immunomodulating properties that may be beneficial in the treatment of MS. There is a shortage of clinical data supporting the beneficial effects of these drugs in MS treatment.

This project will study the real-world therapeutic potential of statins, ACE inhibitors, and PPIs in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Dr. de Jong will examine the impact of statins, ACE inhibitors, and PPIs on multiple sclerosis disease progression, alone or in combination with beta interferon therapy, in a large cohort of patients with relapsing-onset MS from British Columbia. She will also describe the safety and tolerability of these drugs in patients with MS treated with and without a beta interferon. In both studies, a time-dependent Cox proportional hazards model will be used. Results will be expressed as hazard rates with 95 percent confidence intervals.

This research has the potential to improve the treatment of multiple sclerosis by establishing the efficacy, safety, and tolerability of alternative drugs for the treatment of MS.