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March 3, 1962

Multiple Sclerosis: Treatment with Tolbutamide and Diabetic Diet

Author Affiliations

US. Army, Washington, D.C.

JAMA. 1962;179(9):724-726. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050090052014

TOLBUTAMIDE is now widely used for the treatment of mild diabetes. Its use in neurological disorders was first reported in March, 1960, by Gates and Hyman, and the effect of this drug in reducing the rigidity and tremor in patients with Parkinson's disease was described. In 1959 Cohen and Cohen reported on its efficacy in the treatment of pustular acne, giving evidence that patients with this disease frequently have elevated cellular glucose levels. Sawyer, noting a "striking remission of symptoms due to multiple sclerosis" in a patient receiving tolbutamide for acne, treated 7 additional cases of multiple sclerosis with tolbutamide in conjunction with diets of varying carbohydrate content. He observed favorable responses in those patients receiving low carbohydrate intake. Our study was undertaken to confirm these promising results.

Method and Results

Twelve cases (11 inpatients and 1 outpatient) are included in this study, selection depending only on the diagnosis of