We know that when the myelin coating of our nerve axons is destroyed, MS symptoms result. So a process that halts or reverses that destruction is the goal of a lot of MS research. This is a report on one of those studies, still in its early stages.
Researchers, using two different kinds of stem cells in rats, were able to regenerate oligodendrocytes — myelin-producing brain cells that are defective in multiple sclerosis (MS). They were also able to grow adult neural stem cells (NSCs, immature cells of the nervous system) in laboratory cultures and prod them to develop into oligodendrocytes.
The study, “Human mesenchymal factors induce rat hippocampal- and human neural stem cell dependent oligodendrogenesis,” was published in the journal Glia.
Here’s another example of research that could result, someday, in myelin repair. The scientists studying the fibrinogen protein speculate that if it prevents myelin from being produced that the process may also be able to be reversed, and used to create and repair myelin. It’s more hope for MS disease reversal in the future.
A blood-clotting protein called fibrinogen prevents myelin production and blocks the neuron remyelination repair process in mice, a study finds.
The study, “Fibrinogen Activates BMP Signaling in Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells and Inhibits Remyelination after Vascular Damage,” appeared in the journal Neuron. Its conclusions offer new insights and open new therapeutic avenues for multiple sclerosis (MS) and Alzheimer’s disease, among other illnesses.
This study focuses on exosomes, tiny packages that virtually all cells release as a means of rapid communication. It’s thought that exosomes may give doctors a method of looking at diseases, such as MS, in the brain. And that, in turn, may make it possible to develop a blood test that would help diagnose MS or track its progression.
In the future, a blood test may make diagnosing multiple sclerosis (MS) much easier, thanks to newly identified biomarker patterns that distinguish between MS patients and healthy people.
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