[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background
Ligands of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) induce apoptosis in activated T-lymphocytes and exert anti-inflammatory effects in glial cells. Preclinical studies have shown that the thiazolidinedione pioglitazone, an FDA-approved PPARγ agonist used to treat type 2 diabetes, delays the onset and reduces the severity of clinical symptoms in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). We therefore tested the safety and therapeutic potential of oral pioglitazone in a patient with secondary MS.
The rationale and risks of taking pioglitazone were carefully explained to the patient, consent was obtained, and treatment was initiated at 15 mg per day p.o. and then increased by 15 mg biweekly to 45 mg per day p.o. for the duration of the treatment. Safety was assessed by measurements of metabolic profiles, blood pressure, and edema; effects on clinical symptoms were assessed by measurement of cognition, motor function and strength, and MRI. Within 4 weeks the patient exhibited increased appetite, cognition and attention span. After 12 months treatment, body weight increased from 27.3 to 35.9 kg (32%) and maintained throughout the duration of the study. Upper extremity strength and coordination improved, and increased fine coordination was noted unilaterally after 8 months and bilaterally after 15 months. After 8 months therapy, the patient demonstrated improvement in orientation, short-term memory, and attention span. MRIs carried out after 10 and 18 months of treatment showed no perceptible change in overall brain atrophy, extent of demyelination, or in Gd-enhancement. After 3.0 years on pioglitazone, the patient continues to be clinically stable, with no adverse events.
In a patient with secondary progressive MS, daily treatment with 45 mg p.o. pioglitazone for 3 years induced apparent clinical improvement without adverse events. Pioglitazone should therefore be considered for further testing of therapeutic potential in MS patients.
Journal of Neuroinflammation 05/2004; 1(1):3. DOI:10.1186/1742-2094-1-3 · 5.41 Impact Factor