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Researchers Report Lab Results Showing Enzymes Important in Myelin Repair

July 27, 2018

Currently, there are no approved medications that can promote myelin repair in the brain. Researchers at Case Western Reserve University have demonstrated that miconazole – a drug used to treat athlete’s foot – enhanced myelin formation by inhibiting an enzyme used to produce cholesterol. Further experiments showed that more than 20 new drugs that enhance myelin formation inhibit similar enzymes.

These interesting findings are still in early stages, and no conclusions can be drawn about what they mean for the use of miconazole or inhibiting cholesterol as a safe, effective strategy for MS. According to a press release from the university, experimental treatments based on this work are not expected to enter human trials until 2019.

The Society is currently funding one author of this study, Paul Tesar, PhD, to investigate the underlying factors that hinder stem cells in the brain from replacing myelin in people with MS.

Read more from Case Western University

Read a scientific summary of this study

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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