New treatment in sight? Scientists can reverse damage caused by MS

The damage caused by MS can be reversed, say British researchers.
Written by Boonsri Dickinson, Contributing Editor

Multiple sclerosis cripples the central nervous system. Researchers at the University of Cambridge have discovered a way of reversing damage caused by MS.

The British researchers have found a way to activate stem cells and damaged nerves, which might one day lead to treatments that can repair the connections in the brain.

"We have identified a means by which the brain's own stem cells can be encouraged to undertake this repair, opening up the possibility of a new regenerative medicine for this devastating disease," Cambridge researcher Robin Franklin said in a statement.

At least this is what the researchers have proven in mice studies. The study was published in Nature Neuroscience.

Normally myelin sheaths protect the nerve fibers in the brain. MS causes a loss of myelin in the brain - which can lead to nerve damage.

The Cambridge discovery could open up new ways of treating MS with drugs that actually repair myelin.

The research could pave the way for regenerative medicine, but clinical trials won't be happening for a while. Give it five to ten years.

Photo: Dr Andrew Jarjour

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