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Society-Funded Researchers Report Observation About Remyelination

November 28, 2018

Multiple sclerosis damages tissues in the brain and spinal cord, including myelin, the insulating coating on nerve fibers which is made by cells called oligodendrocytes. Finding ways to stimulate the repair of myelin (remyelination) and to protect against damage is a key research priority for the National MS Society.
The brain has spare immature cells that can move to an area of damage, mature and then begin the process of myelin regeneration. An unanswered question has been whether all remyelination is done by these immature cells, or whether intact adult oligodendrocytes that are already supplying nerve fibers with myelin can engage in remyelination after damage has occurred. A paper recently published by Society-funded researcher Dr. Ian Duncan (University of Wisconsin-Madison) and his colleagues provides evidence, based on microscopic examination of tissues from lab models, that adult oligodendrocytes may participate in remyelination.
Findings such as these, if confirmed by additional research, help build a body of knowledge needed to find ways to restore function in individuals living with MS.
Read the scientific abstract of the paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Read more about research to repair nervous system damage

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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