Study Finds Biological Signs that Increasing Speed of Nerve Signals Reflects Myelin Repair - May Improve MS Clinical Trials
December 18, 2019
Researchers funded in part by the National MS Society have found biological evidence that the recovery of nerve signaling speed along the optic nerve after its insulating myelin coating has been damaged – detected using a method called visual evoked potentials (VEP) – may reflect myelin repair. This affirms the potential value of VEP in future clinical trials of myelin repair strategies for MS. The team is led by Professor Ian D. Duncan (University of Wisconsin-Madison).
Read More About Research on Myelin Repair
- VEP is a method of using flashing lights to measure the speed of nerve signaling in the optic nerve – the bundle of nerve fibers that relays visual signals between the eyes and the brain.
- VEP is sometimes used in clinical settings to detect changes in nerve signaling. What is new in this research, conducted in lab models, is that the team uncovered biological evidence of myelin repair occurring in conjunction with recovering nerve signals.
- Affirming VEP as a tool for detecting myelin repair would improve the ability to detect the success of myelin repair strategies in MS clinical trials.
Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. Currently there is no cure. Symptoms vary from person to person and may include disabling fatigue, mobility challenges, cognitive changes, and vision issues. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Early diagnosis and treatment are critical to minimize disability. Significant progress is being made to achieve a world free of MS.