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Combination therapy with interferon beta-1a and sesame oil in multiple sclerosis.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system. Several effector mechanisms are involved in the immunopathology of MS and a variety of medications such as beta interferons are applied to treat the disease. This study was conducted to evaluate the anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects of sesame oil in combination with interferon beta-1a in MS treatment.

Ninety-three MS patients were enrolled in the study. The patients were randomly divided into two groups. The control group (n = 39) received 30 μg/week of interferon beta-1a intra-muscularly. The sesame oil-treated group (n = 54) received interferon beta-1a the same as the control group with the addition of 0.5 ml/kg/day of oral sesame oil for 6 months.

After the 6-month study period, the interleukin (IL)-10 concentration in the sesame oil-treated group was significantly greater than that of the control group (p = 0.04). The concentrations of interferon-γ (IFN-γ), nitric oxide (NO), and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) in the sesame oil group after treatment were significantly less than those of the control group (p = 0.029, p = 0.0001, and p = 0.01, respectively). Lymphocyte proliferation in the sesame oil-treated group was significantly lower at the end of the study than at the beginning (p = 0.001).

Sesame oil, through a decrease in IFN-γ secretion and anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities, may have beneficial effects for MS patients.

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