In this medical video learn how Multiple Sclerosis can steal memory as well as the ability to walk. a new treatment is keeping minds sharper, longer.
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Jennifer Matthews: Jeffrey Steenberg loves the outdoors, whether it's jogging or caring for his homemade garden. But when doctors diagnosed him with multiple sclerosis four years ago, even the simple tasks became exhausting. Jeffrey Steenberg: I was just finding myself extremely tired a lot. I couldn't make it through a day without napping. Jennifer Matthews: And like about half of all MS patients, Jeffrey also had memory problems. Jeffrey Steenberg: I definitely noticed some of the memory going. Calling somebody immediately after calling them and not knowing who was on the phone anymore. Jennifer Matthews: Neurologist, Rhonda Voskuhl, says there's no treatment to protect patients from memory failure. Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl: What we don't have are drugs that would be going directly to the brain or spinal cord and protecting those nerves. Jennifer Matthews: Now, this testosterone gel may do just that. In a small study, ten men with MS applied it to their shoulders once a day for a year. Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl: What they reported mostly was that they felt better, that they had more energy and less fatigue. Jennifer Matthews: The gel improved their immune systems and all the patients performed better on memory tests. MRI scans also showed parts of the brain that normally decline in MS actually slowed. Dr. Rhonda Voskuhl: We're excited about these findings because we're actually would be describing one of the first really neural protective drugs for MS. Jennifer Matthews: Jeffrey noticed a difference. Jeffrey Steenberg: The increased energy and mental alertness was the biggest change for me. Jennifer Matthews: The gel gave Jeffrey focus to live and researchers hope their findings may also help women with MS in the future. This is Jennifer Matthews reporting.