Summary: Researchers uncover beneficial effects of immune cells in myelin repair that could reverse myelin damage in multiple sclerosis.
Source: Queen’s University Belfast
MS is the most common neurological disease affecting young adults and is the result of damage to myelin, the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibres of the central nervous system – the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve.
The research breakthrough, which has been published in Nature Neuroscience, shows that a protein made by certain cells within the immune system triggers the brain’s stem cells to mature into oligodendrocytes that repair myelin. This knowledge is essential to designing future treatments that tackle neurological diseases, such as MS, in a new way – repairing damage rather than only reducing attacks. In the future, combining these approaches will deliver better outcomes for patients.
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