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Enkephalin Therapy Improves Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis

Enkephalin Therapy Improves Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis
Publication Type
Book Chapter
Research Type
Reported as
Case Report/Series/Restrospective Study
January 28, 2020
Chirag L. Patel, Ian S. Zagon, Gary A. Thomas and Patricia J. McLaughlin
Penn State University

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is accompanied by decreases in serum endogenous enkephalin/endorphins and alterations in inflammatory cytokines. This retrospective analysis of serum levels was conducted in 53 patients with established relapsing-remitting MS treated with the disease-modifying therapies (DMT) glatiramer acetate, dimethyl fumarate or with the biotherapeutic low dose naltrexone (LDN) to elevate enkephalins, an off-label alternative. Opioid growth factor (OGF), an inhibitory endogenous opioid involved in modulating cellular replication, was measured and correlated to serum β-endorphin, IL-17A and TNFα. Results revealed that MS leads to a significant reduction in OGF levels in subjects on DMTs, but patients on LDN had OGF levels comparable to non-MS controls. Individuals on DMTs had significantly elevated TNFα levels, while IL-17A levels were significantly elevated only in patients taking dimethyl fumarate. A direct correlation was established between OGF and IL17A indicating a potential interaction between the OGF-OGFr axis and pro-inflammatory T-helper cells providing insight into the disease etiology