Neuroprotection: A Possible Future Treatment for Multiple Sclerosis
Research into new treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) is ongoing and scientists are continuously discovering new ways to tackle the disease. There is one area of research that’s showing promising results: neuroprotection.
Neuroprotection could offer a new approach to treating multiple sclerosis. It aims to stop nerve cells from becoming damaged and therefore slows down the progression of the disease. There are different ways that neuroprotection can be applied — for instance, strengthening the nerve cells so they are less likely to be attacked or preventing molecules from causing harm to the cells.
According to the Multiple Sclerosis Society UK, MS research has pinpointed some of the mechanisms that lead to damage of the nerve cells. There are currently clinical trials that are testing therapies aimed at stopping these mechanisms, such as sodium channel blockers.
Since it’s believed that a buildup of sodium in the brain can lead to damage of nerve cells, scientists are currently testing therapies to see if the sodium can be blocked, preventing it from causing harm. Work in other areas includes glutamate receptor blockers, where glutamate — a chemical that helps to transmit messages to and from nerve cells — can build up and begin to damage nerve fibers.
While research of neuroprotectors is still in its infancy, it represents an exciting time ahead for MS research and the hope for a viable treatment that could halt the disease.
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