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In the war against diseases, nerve cells need their armor
Date:11/12/2008

are pleased to be involved in funding work that supports our mission and feel that this research takes us closer to understanding the players and processes that could aid in remyelination."

The results of this study, a collaboration between Dr. Kennedy's laboratory, clinician-scientists in the Neuroimmunology group at the MNI headed by Dr. Jack Antel, and Dr. Adriana Di Polo's laboratory at the Universit de Montral, are especially significant in Canada which has one of the highest rates of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) in the world with approximately 1,000 new cases of MS diagnosed each year. ''This is an exciting new area of research that could lead to new treatment strategies and ultimately improve the life of the people who suffer from MS. We are proud to be funding this collaborative research between basic and clinician-scientists," said Dr. Rmi Quirion, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Neurosciences, Mental Health and Addiction.

MS is a disease of the central nervous system in which myelin is destroyed. Understanding the factors involved in maintaining myelin and promoting remyelination, offers new therapeutic targets and avenues for the treatment of MS. As described by Dr. Jack Antel, "Current MS therapies aim to block inflammation. In order to protect and restore myelin it is essential to to understand the molecules involved in these processes. This is the new era of the neurobiology of MS." The team is taking the investigation further by teaming up with the MS clinic and doctors at the MNI, providing access to a huge amount of patient data, and enabling them a broader clinical perspective.

Importantly, this newly discovered mechanism implicates a cascade of protein molecules that have not been known to be involved in myelination. The study was carried out in mice and using in vitro cell cultures. The investigators found that myelin develops normally, but then begins to come apart. Interestingly, in some respects this mir
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Contact: Anita Kar
anita.kar@mcgill.ca
514-398-3376
Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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