Background/aim: Uric acid was successfully used in both, prevention and treatment of the animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Recently it has been shown that inosine, a ribosylated precursor of uric acid, might be used to elevate serum uric acid levels in MS patients. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety and efficacy of oral inosine as a single drug treatment in patients with MS.
Method: We administered inosine orally to 32 MS patients from 2001-2004 year at doses from 1-2 g daily (given twice) depending on the pretreatment serum uric acid levels. The mean follow-up interval was 37.69+/-6.55 months. The other 32 MS patients, without any treatment except for a relapse period (matched by age, sex, duration of disease and functional disability), were used as controls. The follow-up interval of these patients was 36.39 +/- 2.68 months. The neurological disability was evaluated by the Expanded Disability Status Scale score (EDSS).
Results: During the observed period the treated MS patients were found to have the lower relapses rate than the non-treated MS patients (Chi-square test, p = 0.001). None of the patients have showed any adverse effect of inosine treatment. The non-treated MS patients were found to have a higher increasing in the mean EDSS score than the treated ones (two-way ANOVA-repeated measures/factor times, p = 0.025).
Conclusion: Our results suggested that the treatment approaches based on the elevation of serum uric acid levels might prove beneficial for some MS patients.