Currently available treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) reduce inflammatory lesions on MRI and decrease clinical relapses but have limited effects on disability. Novel treatment options that target both the inflammatory as well as the neurodegenerative component of the disease are therefore needed. A growing body of evidence from basic science and clinical studies supports the therapeutic potential of estrogens in MS. Mechanisms of action include both immunomodulatory and directly neuroprotective pathways. A first pilot trial of oral estriol treatment showed encouraging results. There are now several phase II trials underway to further determine the efficacy of estrogen treatment in MS.
Gold SM, Voskuhl RR. Estrogen treatment in multiple sclerosis. J Neurol Sci. 2009 June