In this medical video learn how researchers from Texas are making life easier for MS patients by helping necessary nerve messages get across nerves that are damaged.
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Jennifer Mathews: A simple walk across the room is not so simple for David Kolodny. David Kolodny: If you can imagine what it's like to walk on stilts or something like that, it's just real awkward and very unbalancing. Jennifer Mathews: David has multiple sclerosis. It started 20 years ago. He ultimately had to give up working. Now, this former businessman spends his days sitting at the computer. David Kolodny: I really don't go the stores. I don't go the malls. Traveling has become kind of a burden. Jennifer Mathews: This pill may make life a little easier for people with MS. Dr. Bill Lindsey: If it improves walking speed for people who are using canes or walkers, then they'll be able to get around their house better, and do more things in the day. Jennifer Mathews: When the protective covering over the nerve is damaged, signals can't get through. Fampridine bridges the gap and allows nerve messages to get across. Dr. Bill Lindsey: We're hoping for a partial improvement in areas where the myelin has been damaged, but the nerve cells are intact. Jennifer Mathews: In a study on 68 patients, 27% reported improvement in symptoms. Only 2% on the placebo improved. Since David is involved in a new study, he's still not sure if he's on the drug, but even if it doesn't help him, he's looking to the future. David Kolodny: If it can help find another medication that will help MS patients, then it's -- that worth it. Jennifer Mathews: This is Jennifer Mathews reporting.