Q&A: How does glucocorticoids treat MS?

Glucocorticoids are a type of steroids. It has anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects. Glucocorticoids may strengthen blood-brain barrier, so that myelin-specific T cells can’t cross the barrier to the central nervous system to attack myelin sheaths. MS patients treated with glucocorticoids have induced cortisol production. Cortisol is increased when persons are experiencing physical or physiological stresses. Cortisol is also found to increase brain’s glucose consumption and decrease other biological functions.

Though side effects of glucocorticoids are recorded, including sleep disturbances, weight gain, mood swing, etc.