How Does Oxidative Stress Affect Multiple Sclerosis?

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by Wendy Henderson |

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Oxidative stress is the result of an imbalance in the body of free radicals. These free radicals damage proteins, lipids and nucleic acids, which in turn causes inflammation. The inflammation results in demyelination of the central nervous system and has a bearing on how severe a patient’s multiple sclerosis is.
The levels of oxidative stress can be used as a biomarker for assessing the progression of multiple sclerosis in patients.
Researching oxidative stress and its effect on MS is enabling scientists to look at therapies where reducing the amount of oxidative stress may reduce the severity of a person’s MS symptoms, slow progression and hopefully reverse the effects of demyelination.

So far, researchers have discovered that oxidative inflammation increases the frequency of relapses in patients with relapse-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) and that oxidative stress can be stopped by activating the Nrf2 pathway — which is a protein found in all of the body’s cells. The Nrf2 pathway regulates defensive antioxidants and can make remyelination occur and help to reverse the effects of multiple sclerosis. Read more about this story here.

MORE: Antioxidant therapies are seen as a promising approach to multiple sclerosis treatment

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