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Estrogen-like Compound Repairs Myelin and Partially Restores Vision in a Mouse Model of MS

February 5, 2021

A team of researchers at the University of California, Riverside, reported that treatment with an estrogen-like compound repaired damage to myelin (the substance that surrounds nerve fibers and is damaged in MS), protected nerve fibers from damage, and partially restored visual function in mice with an MS-like disease. The team studied specifically the effects of this compound, called indazole chloride (IndCl), on the retina and optic nerve. Vision problems are common in MS, and often the first symptom of the disease.

Estrogen has been shown in rodent studies to increase myelin repair and protect the brain, but estrogens impact the reproductive system and have been linked to cancers. An estrogen-like therapy that specifically protects the brain without affecting the female reproductive system is desired, and could even be used in both men and women. Further study is required to determine whether this or similar compounds under testing will be safe and effective for people with MS.

This team has received funding from the National MS Society’s Fast Forward initiative to identify the safest and most effective of such compounds for future development as a potential treatment for MS.

Read more from the University of California, Riverside

Read the paper in Brain Pathology

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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