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Saints, Drugs and Multiple Sclerosis

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Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic neurological disease that usually begins with episodic attacks of neurologic symptoms. Its wide range of effects can vary from memory loss to the inability to walk. The disease usually develops in adults between the ages of twenty and forty, and has also been observed in children.

The first known case of multiple sclerosis was that of Saint Lidwina. She lived in the Netherlands from 1380 to 1433. At age 16, she suffered from an acute illness. Her symptoms included pain, intermittent weakness of her legs and blindness in one eye.

A group of Belgian neurologists analyzed Lidwina’s bones and concluded that she had multiple sclerosis. They published a paper on the case based on their findings and she was canonized as a Saint in 1890 because of her life’s work in caring for others. 

Hundreds of years later, we are still without a cause or a cure, as you will discover in my prior article on invisible illness. The number of chronic illness cases continues to skyrocket. .  

Chronic illnesses are the most common and costly health problems worldwide. They account for seven out of 10 deaths in the United States. In addition, they affect over 90 million people in the United States, and they account for 70 percent of the nation’s health care spending at $1 trillion dollars!


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 60 percent of American adults have at least one chronic condition and 40 percent have two or more. This means that the total cost of treating chronic illnesses is enormous. The CDC estimates that chronic illnesses account for approximately 90 percent of the health care costs in the United States each year. As a result, efforts to reduce health care costs must include addressing chronic health conditions and even getting down to the root of the issue.

The focus on addressing chronic illness is typically with medications to alleviate symptoms. With each new drug release, everyone hopes it’s THE miracle cure that will put them back to their pre-diagnosis condition.  

As someone who has been living with multiple sclerosis for over 30 years, I understand the hopeful wishing for a cure.  In fact, I read a recent news release from GlobalData regarding three new drugs in Phase III development.  

According to research by GlobalData’s pharma team, the three drugs in Phase III development are:  Tolebrutinib (anticipated launch in 2025 in the US and 2026 in the 5EU), AB Science’s Masitinib (anticipated launch in 2027 in the US and in the 5EU) and Roche’s Fenebrutinib (anticipated launch in 2027 in the US and 2028 in the 5EU).

Tolebrutinib is a Bruton’s tyrosine kinase (BTK) inhibitor that inhibits the activation of B cells. In addition, it reduces the activity of proinflammatory macrophages. This dual function makes it possible for tolebrutinib to be a long-term treatment for patients with MS.

In the clinical trial of tolebrutinib,130 adults with relapsing MS participated. They were randomly assigned to receive tolebrutinib during a period of 12 weeks.

Researchers found that tolebrutinib is effective at reducing new brain MRI lesions in people with RMS.  However, during the course of the phase II trial, patients reported mild adverse events, including headaches, chest infections, and cold-like symptoms. Some reports of liver damage were also observed. Those who were affected were at risk of liver disease due to prior medical conditions, and the majority had concurrent comorbidities that put them at risk for developing liver problems.

After tolebrutinib was discontinued, markers of liver injury decreased and then reversed.

The second drug is Fenebrutinib, a new multiple sclerosis drug being tested for the treatment of relapsing forms of the disease. It works by inhibiting the enzyme BTK, which is a key therapeutic target in the disease. In addition to BTK, the drug targets the important chemical messenger serotonin. This neurotransmitter plays a role in brain and spinal cord responses.

Some of the side effects reported include nausea, nasopharyngitis, bruising, and hemorrhage. The median duration of this study was twelve weeks.

The third drug discussed is Masitinib, an oral tyrosine kinase inhibitor that targets mast cells, microglia, and macrophages. These cells are involved in neuroinflammatory processes and play an important role in immunity. They have also been found to be implicated in severe asthma. 

During the 36-week trial, moderate side effects were documented in participants.  Over half experienced diarrhea, others reported a rash, vomiting along with edema in some.  37% of the participants withdrew from the study due to the adverse effects.  

Whenever trying something new, all of the factors must be considered.  Both short term and long term health and lifestyle side effects.  Also consider other ways of managing your healing plan.  

What if we chose to turn our disease path around while working alongside our medical team?  

There are so many aspects to consider on our health and healing journey. Even though  I believe science and medicine are life-saving, we are responsible for examining our own lifestyles and finding ways to improve them. 

I would love to see a cure for MS someday soon, but I think part of the responsibility lies within us.  Realizing this illness has been around since the Middle Ages makes me wonder why the constant rush of new medicines, without any real emphasis on our whole-ness?  


If there’s any support I can provide, feel free to visit as well as my archive listed above on USA DAILY for more important commentaries on living your most dynamic life!  


Wendy Bjork, founder of is a pioneer in advocacy and mentorship.  Wendy is leading a global revolution of women walking in purpose and peace as she illumines their path ahead with the light of HOPE:  Harmony, Options, Peace & Empowerment.

She empowers women to step into their boldness, stand in their resilience and own their Truth.  Through Wendy’s guidance, they are finally seen, heard and understood.

Wendy has authored two books and co-authored a third, “Fired Up!,” a #1 International bestseller. She is a regular contributor on the digital platforms and to the National MS Society’s Momentum Magazine.  She is regularly invited on discussions, podcasts, interviews as she shares her story and hope to inspire others.

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