Navigation Links
MS research could help repair damage affecting nerves

Multiple sclerosis treatments that repair damage to the brain could be developed thanks to new research.

A study has shed light on how cells are able to regenerate protective sheaths around nerve fibres in the brain.

These sheaths, made up of a substance called myelin, are critical for the quick transmission of nerve signals, enabling vision, sensation and movement, but break down in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The study, by the Universities of Edinburgh and Cambridge, found that immune cells, known as macrophages, help trigger the regeneration of myelin.

Researchers found that following loss of or damage to myelin, macrophages can release a compound called activin-A, which activates production of more myelin.

Dr Veronique Miron, of the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh, said: "In multiple sclerosis patients, the protective layer surrounding nerve fibres is stripped away and the nerves are exposed and damaged.

"Approved therapies for multiple sclerosis work by reducing the initial myelin injury they do not promote myelin regeneration. This study could help find new drug targets to enhance myelin regeneration and help to restore lost function in patients with multiple sclerosis."

The study, which looked at myelin regeneration in human tissue samples and in mice, is published in Nature Neuroscience and was funded by the MS Society, the Wellcome Trust and the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.

Scientists now plan to start further research to look at how activin-A works and whether its effects can be enhanced.

Dr Susan Kohlhaas, Head of Biomedical Research at the MS Society, said: "We urgently need therapies that can help slow the progression of MS and so we're delighted researchers have identified a new, potential way to repair damage to myelin. We look forward to seeing this research develop further."

Dr Karen Lee, Vice-President, Research at the MS Society of Canada, said: "We are pleased to fund MS research that may lead to treatment benefits for people living with MS. We look forward to advances in treatments that address repair specifically, so that people with MS may be able to manage the unpredictable symptoms of the disease."


Contact: Tara Womersley
University of Edinburgh

Related biology news :

1. Bees under threat from disease-carrying bumblebee imports, research reveals
2. Researchers describe potential for MERS coronavirus to spread internationally
3. U of M researchers identify new functions for autoimmune disease risk gene
4. LSUHSC researcher awarded NCI grant to study link between chronic inflammation and cancer
5. Low-cost sterilization method for cats and dogs is focus of new research project
6. DFG to fund three new research units
7. Pioneers in Alzheimers research: Research couple honored for its lifetime achievement
8. Fear factor: Missing brain enzyme leads to abnormal levels of fear in mice, reveals new research
9. Solving DNA puzzles is overwhelming computer systems, researchers warn
10. Antiviral enzyme contributes to several forms of cancer, University of Minnesota researchers say
11. Carnegie Mellon researchers develop artificial cells to study molecular crowding and gene expression
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/27/2015)... , October 27, 2015 ... Semantic Gaze Mapping technology (ASGM) automatically maps data from ... Tracking Glasses , so that they can be ... --> Munich, Germany , October 28-29, ... maps data from mobile eye tracking videos created with ...
(Date:10/26/2015)... Calif. and LAS VEGAS ... Nok Nok Labs , an innovator in modern authentication ... , today announced the launch of its latest version ... unified platform enabling organizations to use standards-based authentication that ... Nok Nok S3 Authentication Suite is ideal for organizations ...
(Date:10/23/2015)... GOLETA, California , October 23, 2015 ... and SensoMotoric Instruments (SMI) announce a mobile plug and ... captured during interactive real-world tasks SensoMotoric Instruments ... of their established wearable solutions for eye tracking and ... behavior captured with SMI Eye Tracking Glasses 2w ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/25/2015)... 25, 2015 Studies reveal the ... plaque and pave the way for more effective treatment for ...     --> --> ... health problems in cats, yet relatively little was understood about ... studies have been conducted by researchers from the WALTHAM Centre ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... , Nov. 25, 2015 Orexigen® Therapeutics, Inc. ... participate in a fireside chat discussion at the Piper ... York . The discussion is scheduled for Wednesday, ... .  A replay will be available for ... Stilwell  , Julie NormartVP, Corporate Communications and Business ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 Cepheid (NASDAQ: ... be speaking at the following conference, and invited investors ... York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at ... York, NY      Tuesday, December 1, 2015 at ... Healthcare Conference, New York, NY ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , Nov. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ - Aeterna Zentaris ... of IIROC on behalf of the Toronto Stock Exchange, ... release there are no corporate developments that would cause ... --> --> About Aeterna ... . --> Aeterna Zentaris is a ...
Breaking Biology Technology: