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Multiple sclerosis patients trial new drugs at Romford hospital

PUBLISHED: 12:00 16 July 2013

Research nurse Elisa Visentin is pictured with patient David Downes

Research nurse Elisa Visentin is pictured with patient David Downes

Archant

Patients at Queen’s Hospital are at the cutting edge of developing new treatments for incurable neurological disease, multiple sclerosis.

David Downes, a council officer from Ilford, was diagnosed with the condition, known as MS, two years ago.

The married dad-of-two said it was a “relief” for him and his family to be given a diagnosis after months of uncertainty over what was making him ill.

Now he is one of three people testing a new drug which could help manage and improve symptoms.

The 47-year-old has been seeing a consultant at Queen’s, in Rom Valley Way, Romford, who suggested he take part in a clinical trial.

“He explained it would be good for me,” said David. “I carry on taking my normal medication as well, but I am monitored closely because I am also trialling a different drug.

“You build up a really personal relationship with the staff because you see them every week.

“If it also means I can help to develop drugs which could help other MS patients in the future then it’s a win-win situation.”

Three months into the year-long trial, David is already seeing improvements in his condition and recovery rates.

He is working closely with neurology research nurse Elisa Visentin who keeps a close eye on all patients taking part in medical trials.

She also has epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease patients trialling new treatments, and another observational study into MS.

She said: “I think that, because there is no cure for conditions like MS, there is a sense of altruism.”

“It’s a good club to be a member of,” said David. “I would have no hesitation in recommending other people to take part in trials.”

A spokesman for Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen’s, said: “We have had great success in carrying out clinical trials – helping to investigate new medicines and treatments for a range of conditions.”


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