Study Yields New Clues to Stopping MS Progression
July 19, 2019
Collaborating researchers from New York City report that the spinal fluid of people with progressive MS dramatically inhibited the ability of rodent nerve cells isolated in lab dishes to produce energy, while spinal fluid from people with relapsing-remitting MS did not. Further research showed that the spinal fluid from people with progressive MS had increased levels of lipid molecules known as ceramides, and that exposing the nerve cells to ceramides alone similarly impaired their ability to uptake glucose and make energy. This adds important details to growing evidence that nerve cells’ tiny powerplants, called mitochondria, malfunction during the course of progressive MS.
The team plans to validate these findings in larger numbers of people and explore whether the inability of nerve cells to keep up with the demand for energy production drives the loss of nerve cells in MS, and thus MS progression. They also are exploring strategies for stopping this energy malfunction to rescue nerve cells.
This research was supported by the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) and the MS Research Program at the Department of Defense.
Read more from the Advanced Science Research Center at The Graduate Center, CUNY
Read the paper in the journal Brain