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MS study offers theory for why repair of brain's wiring fails
Date:7/1/2009

the repair process," says co-senior author Robin Franklin of the University of Cambridge.

Now the team is starting to examine some of the other genes it found to be active in the myelin repair process, and is developing new mouse models to help test potential therapies that might manipulate the Wnt pathway to improve myelin repair. Given the pathway's role in so many different processes, however, Rowitch cautioned that targeting Wnt could cause unintended side effects.

The new work may also have implications for another neurological disease, periventricular leukomalacia, which can lead to cerebral palsy in extremely premature infants, says Rowitch. Recent studies by Rowitch and colleagues show a similar inability of oligodendrocytes to perform their important repair function.

"The researchers have made an encouraging finding that could open a new window into the cause of failed neural repair in multiple sclerosis," says Dr. Patricia O'Looney, Vice President of BioMedical Research at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "Understanding such mechanisms should help advance the efforts to find valuable treatments for this debilitating disease."


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Contact: Jennifer OBrien
jobrien@pubaff.ucsf.edu
415-476-2557
University of California - San Francisco
Source:Eurekalert

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