Multiple sclerosis is a neurological disease that primarily affects young people with onset between 20-40 years old and also affects more women than men. It is an autoimmune disease in which the myelin sheath (a protective and insulating layer surrounding our neurons in order to deliver signals quickly) is attacked. No cure has been developed, however there are now multiple disease modifying treatments on the market that increase life expectancy for those affected. Amongst these treatments are three types of monoclonal antibodies: Natalizumab, Alemtuzumab, and Ocrelizumab. The study of this class of treatments allows one to explore a major application of biochemical sciences: drug development. This literature review presents the mechanism of actions for these drugs, their efficacy and safety data, as well as background information about the disease itself in an effort to understand how they were developed. It was determined that all three treatments were effective in reducing the effects of multiple sclerosis, however some serious adverse effects have led to strict monitoring protocols for those who are undergoing treatment.
Jordan Tomberlin is from Merritt Island, FL and is pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry at Salem College. In addition to her studies, she is very involved on campus including being a captain of the soccer team, a resident assistant, an admissions ambassador, a QUEST tutor, president of Tri-Beta, secretary/treasurer of CAB, and treasurer for the American Chemical Society. Beyond Salem College, she hopes to enter medical school in Fall of 2023 and pursue a surgical specialty.