Breakthrough MS Drug

April 23, 2012 Updated Apr 23, 2012 at 7:01 PM EDT

By WKBW News

April 23, 2012 Updated Apr 23, 2012 at 7:01 PM EDT

(WKBW/ABC News) Promising news on treating multiple sclerosis. According to a new study, early drug intervention is showing major progress against the disease.

Multiple sclerosis is an auto-immune disease that attacks the brain and spinal cord.

Patients suffer attacks that can last for days and up to months --
affecting muscles, vision, and even personality.

New research by the American Academy of Neurology finds that early use of the drug "interferon beta-1a" can slow and even stop the progression of multiple sclerosis.

In the three year study, those who were given the
drug soon after their first symptoms were less likely to develop a more severe form of MS.

Experts say slowing inflammation early in the disease preserves nerve cells from damage, and the study shows how important early diagnosis is in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

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