Thyroid hormone (T3) therapy may treat multiple sclerosis (MS)

A great study, which directly demonstrates that the demyelination seen in this “autoimmune” condition targeting the nervous system is driven by low levels of T3. Conversely, the study also found that administration of either plain T3 or a synthetic analog was able to restore the myelin sheet and ameliorate the disease. As such, MS is likely yet another condition of clear metabolic origin, and in which metabolic therapies may be curative.

#ECTRIMS2019 – Remyelinating Therapy Liothyronine Well-tolerated by MS Patients, Phase 1b Trial Finds

“…Treatment with a potential remyelinating agent called liothyronine was safe and well-tolerated by people with multiple sclerosis (MS) in a Phase 1b trial. Preliminary results also suggested benefits in cognition, motor function, and fatigue.”

“…According to Newsome, thyroid hormones are critical for the development of the nervous system. These hormones may promote remyelination — the formation of new myelin sheaths, the protective coating around neurons — in the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) by boosting the differentiation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells into mature oligodendrocytes. Those are the cell types that form myelin. Tri-iodothyronine (T3) is believed to play a central role in the most important actions of the thyroid hormones. Therefore, researchers believe that liothyronine — a synthetic form of T3 — may induce repair and limit neurodegeneration in people with MS.”

https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/126329

Thyroid Hormone Mimetic Holds Promise as Remyelination Therapy for MS, Mouse Study Shows

“…Researchers have developed a compound based on the thyroid hormone T3 that is able to repair damaged myelin in the brain of mice, a discovery that holds promise for healing myelin loss in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), results of an early study reveal. The compound combines a brain-penetrating agent and a chemical mimic of T3, and may be a future remyelination therapy delivered specifically to the central nervous system (CNS) — brain and spinal cord — with few side effects. During development, the active form of the thyroid hormone T3 promotes the formation of myelin-producing cells at the CNS; these cells are called oligodendrocytes. As a result, the myelin sheath around nerve fibers grows in the presence of this hormone. However, using thyroid hormone has not been eyed as a potential remyelination therapy given its unwanted side-effects when delivered systemically (into the bloodstream) and affecting the entire body.”

“…That’s why scientists at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), in collaboration with researchers from other institutions, devised a novel approach to address this limitation. The team used sobetirome, a thyromimetic — a molecule that mimics T3,    binding to and activating its natural receptor in the body. Sobetirome is devoid of the adverse side effects associated with excess thyroid hormone, “and unique among thyromimetics for its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and distribute to the CNS from a systemic dose” researchers wrote. The blood-brain barrier is a protective barrier between the brain’s blood vessels and the brain tissue.”

“…In addition, sobetirome also increased the number of myelinated nerve fibers at the spinal cord. “The mouse showed close to a full recovery,” Tom Scanlan, PhD, professor of physiology and pharmacology in OHSU School of Medicine and the study’s senior author, said in a press release.”