JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Beta-interferon drug. Woman uses a syringe to draw up liquid beta-interferon from a glass vial. This drug, new in 1995, is described as a "breakthrough" in the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is caused by a deterioration of the myelin sheaths around nerve fibres leading to symptoms such as unsteady gait, speech and vision defects. It is a progressive disease caused when the body's own immune system attacks the myelin nerve sheaths. Daily injections of beta-interferon help to halve the number of attacks in people in the early stages of MS. This treatment, although expensive, offers hope and relief to MS sufferers while scientists try to find a cure for MS.
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