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Early, novel study suggests that nerve fibers may be better off without myelin after immune-mediated damage in MS

July 6, 2023

Myelin is the substance that surrounds axons (nerve fibers) and is generally thought to be protective and supportive. New research from teams in Germany shows that axons were more likely to degrade in the presence of myelin that had been damaged, rather than if myelin was completely lost. These data were obtained from tissue samples from four people with MS and from mouse models of MS-like disease. They suggest that myelin (and oligodendrocytes, the cells that make myelin) may not be able to support axons after experiencing immune-mediated damage, but rather, may harm the axons instead.

This novel idea requires much further study, but if confirmed, presents a novel direction for restoring what’s been lost in MS.

Read more about this study from the University of Leipzig

Read the study, available in Nature Neuroscience via Open Access


About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis, and there is currently no cure for MS. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.


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