Could Estriol Be the Elixir for MS?
LOS ANGELES, CA — March 23, 2007 — It has long been common knowledge that pregnant women with multiple sclerosis experience a sharp drop in the disease’s symptoms during the course of their pregnancy. Some years back, Rhonda Voskuhl, MD, director of UCLA’s Multiple Sclerosis Program, and her colleagues discovered the cause. They found that a female sex hormone called estriol, which is produced during pregnancy, was responsible for the suppression. Four years ago, Voskuhl followed that discovery with a pilot study in which 10 non-pregnant women with MS were given estriol, yielding what she described as “pretty remarkable” results an 80% drop in inflammatory lesions in the brain, a hallmark of the disease. This month, Voskuhl begins a much larger trial of estriol, one that will involve 150 patients at multiple locations over the next two years. The prospects, she said, are exciting. Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system that attacks the tissue surrou