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Researchers Co-funded by National MS Society Report on New Way to Translate Lab Findings Aimed at Repairing Nerve-Insulating Myelin

August 18, 2017

With support from the National MS Society, University of Buffalo researchers compared genes for myelin-making cells in mice, rats, and people. Myelin surrounds nerve fibers, and is a target of the immune attack in MS. Strategies for promoting myelin repair sometimes succeed in mice or rats, and then not work in people, so this team used a new software tool to determine whether this was due to fundamental differences between species in the genes that instruct myelin formation. In the process, they identified a protein – GNB4 – that appears to be important to myelin formation in people. Further research is necessary to determine if GNB4 is a promising target for developing myelin repair strategies for MS.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. 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. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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