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Anti-malaria drug may help battle autoimmune diseases.

An anti-malaria drug may provide better treatment to those with autoimmune diseases like arthritis and multiple sclerosis, according to a study by the Van Andel Institute.

The anti-malaria drug, chloroquine can be used to replace anti-inflammatory medications like steroids.

Jeffrey Trent is president and research director of the Van Andel Institute. He says this is good news for patients because they will not have to deal with as many negative side effects associated with steroids.

“This provides some mechanistic understanding of how we can better think about putting combinations of drugs together, including existing ones we have, in support of trying to reduce the side effect profile for these steroids.”

Steroids are known to cause bone and hair loss, sleep disruption, weight gain and stunt growth.

Emily Fox- Michigan Radio Newsroom