A new trial is examining the effect of a potential neuro-protective drug which may prevent the death of brain cells. This drug prevents immune cells from moving into the brain, and may protect brain cells.

Ibudilast, which is an oral tablet, has shown beneficial effects in people with relapsing-remitting MS. However, its performance in people with progressive MS remains unknown.

The trial, called SPRINT-MS, started in November 2013. It has recruited 250 people with progressive MS who are either receiving ibudilast or a placebo. SPRINT-MS is led by Dr. Robert J. Fox and is run in many centres across the USA.

The trial aims to follow patients with advanced imaging measures for 96 weeks. The primary outcome measure of this trial, which will tell us whether or not the drug has been successful in stopping progression of MS, is the amount of brain shrinkage in people who are receiving the drug vs those who are on placebo. Investigators will also assess the safety of the drug in a large number of people. The trial is ongoing and is expected to finish by June 2017.

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