Cari Loder regime

The Cari Loder regime was a proposed treatment for multiple sclerosis that attracted some media attention during the 1990s, before disease modifying drugs were widely available.

Cari Loder, who had MS herself, discovered that a combination of her prescription antidepressants (lofepramine), vitamin B12 and an animo acid (phenylalanine) found in Diet Coke seemed to make her MS symptoms better. The combination was known as the Cari Loder regime and she wrote about it in her book Standing in the Sunshine.

A trial of the approach was published in 2002. 138 people received either the Cari Loder regime or just supplementation with vitamin B12 for 24 weeks. Both groups showed a small improvement in their symptoms - a two point improvement in the disability scale used (Guy's neurological disability scale) - which was reached by the second week of the study. The Cari Loder regime group showed a small further improvement over the remainder of the study but this wasn't big enough to show that the regime was an effective treatment.

Sadly Cari Loder's own MS worsened and she died in 2009.

Find out more

Wade DT, et al.
A randomised placebo controlled exploratory study of vitamin B-12, lofepramine, and L-phenylalanine (the "Cari Loder regime") in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry 2002;73(3):246-249.
Full article (PDF, 187KB) (link is external)