Athlete's foot cream could cure MS?

I haven’t been on this site for a few years but an article in the Telegraph inspired me to ask the question. My MS nurse knew nothing about it when asked and pointed me to stem cell research.

So a summary of the article states that the active ingredient, miconazole, in the Athele’s foot cream, Daktarin, has had revolutionary effects when given to infected mice. Apparently it goes on to say that this drug instructs the body’s stem cells in the brain to repair damaged nerve cells.

Anybody heard anything about this new treatment?

Well, if you are a baby mouse, this could be good news - humans may have to wait a few years longer.
The Beeb pushed this story as a Cure for MS - and, of course, it is no such thing.

What you should read is the Barts Blog comment on this:

and note that the statistics used are questionable.



Hi ! Not heard of this, but wouldn’t it be wonderful if something like daktarin holds the key?! Bet most of us has it in the bathroom cupboard! Tracey x

Interesting, thanks for the link, Geoff.

As copied from the barts blog link:

"Immune response assays show that miconazole functions directly as a remyelinating drug with no effect on the immune system, whereas clobetasol is a potent immunosuppressant as well as a remyelinating agent."

I assume that this statement means miconazole rebuilds the myelin without activating further immune system activity whereas clobetasol is likely to set off new and maybe unwanted immune activity?.

Not being a doctor the blog article is rather difficult to follow.

spr0g posted his theory that salicylic acid caused ms.

it is found in athletes foot creams.

ah the plot thickens!!

carole x

Salicylic acid…would that be similar to the hair of the dog?

I seemed to have lost my way with this illness as I was more interested in keeping going with work and not getting distracted.

But due to an inability to walk, to balance, various leg pains and subsequently the lack of work, it has brought back all those ideas I had about what caused my PPMS.

Reading some more articles in the Barts Blog and following through the responses leads me to think I was on the right track.

However, its one thing to be 80-90% sure what caused it and another to know how to get rid of it.

Thanks for your replies…

daktarin also for hair growth like biotin

The headlines saying athlete’s foot cream ‘could reverse multiple sclerosis’? Rather misleading. Here’s the facts, with a comment from Dr Sorrel Bickley, Research Communications Manager at the MS Society :


Stewart (admin)


Thanks for the link, Stewart.

It says more or less what other articles have stated. Five to ten years of clinical trials is a long time to wait.

In desperation, It might be that someone with a chemistry set will do some unofficial DIY trials on a kill or cure basis? Not that I’m suggesting anyone should contemplate this as there is a probability other side effects might creep up and zap you.

What are the other options:

1/ take a bucket load of known neuro suppressant drugs and live in zombie land

2/ practise the art of patience and long suffering - stoicism

3/ smoke skunk to alleviate certain symptoms - slip into the dark world of drugs and get arrested

4/ Hypnotism and convince yourself that nothing is abnormal - well it may work for those who want to believe that they may become successful in something

5/ Prayer and hope in a miracle -possibly

6/ consider the Swiss solution - not sure I want to take that route either

7/ maintain a sense of humour and enjoy what you have to give rather than focusing on what you’ve lost - most likely

ive thought of putting cream on pads and sticking to feet it shouldnt be harmful

Lol - I’ve never had Athletes foot so never tried it. and I think the consensus appears to be that absorption through the foot is unlikely to stimulate new growth in the brain. Having said that there doesn’t appear to be any evidence to the contrary in certain individuals

I’ll have a 7 too, please, no ice.

Mind you, I do find strangely appealing the idea of MSers huddled around the brazier in their illicit foot fungus den, boiling up athlete’s foot cream.

On the third hand, I’ll just stick to 7. It is nice to know that there are possibilities round the corner for the people who haven’t even got MS yet, or don’t know they have. But it’s going to be a wee bit late for us, alas, unless we are mouse pups. I didn’t even know you called baby mice ‘mouse pups’, so there’s another strange new thing for today. :slight_smile:


I understand it as being precisely the opposite. “Immunosuppressant” means clobetasol would inhibit, rather than promote immune system activity. But this is not necessarily a positive thing, as whilst an immunosuppresant might well dampen down MS activity, a potent immunosuppressant would have the drawback of leaving the patient vulnerable to infection.

For that reason, I would suppose miconazole to be the more promising of the two, as it wouldn’t repair the nasty MS, but then leave the poor patient defenceless against infection - possibly fatally.

Many approaches to MS do involve dampening down the immune system in some way, but I would think “potently suppressing it” to be rather dangerous - just replacing one problem with another.


Thank you your reply, Tina.

I’m on unsteady ground here, pun not intended, as I don’t have enough medical training, ‘A’ level Biology only, to make a medically informed response.

However, this illness appears to ravish the immune system by turning on itself. So logic tells me that any substance that can repair the myelin sheath around the nervous without affecting the immune system - sort of sneaking in behind and repairing the damage before the Leukocytes get wind and start a counter revolution - is possibly good news?

Tried it, no difference, put it on face, no difference, arrh well. I tried!!!

Good grief, Athletes Face ! - does that one exist ?

You must have been run into the ground to suffer that one !

I must admit, though, rubbing Daktarin on your feet might bring some pleasure, who knows?

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Haha, well, you’ve done more biology than me, as I dropped it from a great height before I had to do anything silly like take an ‘O’ Level in the subject.

In more recent times, I did a postgrad diploma in medical law, but that pretty much only deals with medical issues that were caused by someone, as you can’t sue anybody for naturally occurring conditions like MS!

Dunno much about leukocytes, but yes, in general I would assume any drug that has the potential to repair myelin without compromising the immune system has to be a positive thing, because if you use immunosuppression, you’re always going to have this trade-off that the price is infections - and I don’t just mean the odd cold, but life-threatening ones such as we see with untreated AIDS.

That’s why many of the existing DMDs are classed as immune system modifiers, but not immunosuppressants, otherwise you’d have the unwanted side-effect of constant infections. Not much point being able to halt MS, but then die of a common infection because your immune system was wiped out. :frowning:

I’m always interested in research, but I don’t get too excited, because, as others have pointed out it’s always mice! For a start, mice don’t actually get MS, but a lab-induced condition used to model MS. So although the pathology appears similar, we don’t know for sure that what works on one would work on the other, as they’re not the same disease. Secondly, and rather obviously, mice aren’t people, so showing it worked on mice (which didn’t really have MS) is a long way from proving it’s safe and effective for humans.

The mouse model may pave the way for some important revelations that can be adapted for humans though!