147426 tn?1317265632

Three Studies on LDN - Low Dose Naltrexone

"ACTION" the bimonthly publication of the United Spinal Association briefly reported on three completed scientific studies looking at LDN and various effects on people with MS.  This was in the 2009 Nov/Dec issue.


The first is the UCSF study which we have all heard about.  This was a randomized, double-masked, placebo-controlled, double cross-over 8-week trial.  So, the scientific method used here was about as strict as one can get to eliminate bias and "placebo-effect".  The study looked at Quality of life issues.  They found that QOL for pain and mental health were improved in the 4 weeks that each participant was on LDN.  They found that during this very short time "physical functioning" QOL improvements were NOT observed.  The main adverse effect was vivid dreaming.  LDN was well tolerated.  A peer-reviewed paper giving full details of the study is pending publication.


The really big surprise is a paper out of Milan Italy looking at 40 patients with PPMS.   The researcher was Dr. Maira Gironi and colleagues at San Raffaelle Scientific Institute.   This study progressed over 6 months - the longest of the three studies.  The researchers aim was to study beta-endorphin levels (feel-good hormones) in patients treated with LDN along with an evaluation of the safety and tolerability of LDN.  The secondary aim of the study was to look at the effect that LDN had on spasticity, pain, fatigue and quality of life.  The trial clearly showed that LDN is safe and well-tolerated.  However, the researchers noted that "only one patient had evidence of progression of neurologic disability.

This Italian study found statistically significant reduction in spasticity and an improvement in fatigue, depression and quality of life as measured at the end of the trial.  The levels of beta-endorphin increased during the trial and paralleled clinical improvement.  This gave researchers evidence of biologic activity by LDN.  This study was published in The Multiple Sclerosis Journal. (no specifics given on jounal date or volume, but it would be fairly recent)


The third study cam out of the MindBrain Consortium, Summa Hospitals and Case-Western-Reserve University.  This was run by Dr. David Pincus and the article I have gave no specifics on their study.  It only said that the findings showed no significant findings - postive or negative.  The authors did NOT conclude that LDN is not effective in MS patients.  Their summary stated that findings by other researchers are compelling and that more research is required.  They felt that allowing patients into their trial who were on auotimuune inhibitors (not specified) may have blunted the effect of the LDN readjustment dynamics on the immune system.  They also recommended that patients be grouped by severity of symptoms in future studies.


Just thought you all would like to see this update.

7 Responses
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572651 tn?1530999357
Its good to see some grounded research on LDN appearing - this is so widely used in Europe for MS by people who can't get the DMD's.  Thanks for sharing this info -
Helpful - 0
279234 tn?1363105249
Is this just a studying phase for MS use and/or do doctors prescribe this drug for other disease?

I'm sorry if these are stupid questions...but I don't know anything when it comes to treatment, since I've never been DX with anything. I thought I would figure treatment out when I was finally DX with something.

Thanks for the info:)
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562511 tn?1285904160
Thanks for the info.  I might give this a try after the first of the year.

Happy Holidays to all!
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Avatar universal
low dose naltrexone has recently gained significant interest in the scientific community secondary to its glial cell modulating effects - it directly dampens inflammation in the central nervous system by blocking the release of inflammatory mediators (ie. interleukin 1); it's being studied in everything from fibromyalgia to crohn's disease; it makes perfect sense to me that it would have a beneficial effect in multiple sclerosis since inflammation is a hallmark of this disease; LDN is very tolerable with very few side effects (some vivid dreams, some say it causes GI distress) and it can be compounded at certain pharmacies for about 40 dollars a month; sometimes I'm tempted to just try it off-label since it's hard to find a doc to prescribe it ;)  
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147426 tn?1317265632
JJ - Fair enough, lol.  Guess it is a busy week.  :))
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987762 tn?1671273328
Quix, i would love to get my head into this one, its an interesting read but too much too do and no time to do it in, so i'll have to get back to you on this one, sorry!

Helpful - 0
147426 tn?1317265632
No one jumped on this.  I am surprised.  Especially look at the second study which appears to show a neurologic stabilization in PPMS.

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