Researchers report potential MS breakthrough

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Researchers report potential MS breakthrough

Postby MSUK » Fri Feb 10, 2012 3:16 am


Caltech researchers report a possible breakthrough in multiple sclerosis medicine in the latest issue of the Journal of Neuroscience.

Scientists led by Paul Patterson, the Biaggini Professor of Biological Sciences at Caltech, have found a way to use tissue from the brain to help heal neurons damaged by the disease. The scientists developed a gene therapy to stimulate production of specialized nerve cells called oligodendrocytes that make material that protects neurons.

The therapy uses leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF), a naturally occurring protein.... Read More -
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Re: Researchers report potential MS breakthrough

Postby HarryZ » Fri Feb 10, 2012 8:15 pm

There was no mention of repairing axons which end up getting destroyed by the MS mechanism. Not sure how neurons and axons relate to each other.

While this discovery is exciting, I would think that it would take about 10 years before we see any concrete results.
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Re: Researchers report potential MS breakthrough

Postby 1eye » Sat Feb 11, 2012 2:41 pm

Like many pw"MS" I hate the word breakthrough. It is merely a media convention which is intended to make money, so I sometimes ignore it. This does have the potential to be a great thing, from the sound of it. I would add that I have a family which includes two members who have chronic leukemia, one rheumatoid arthritis, one lupus, one hydrocephalus, my mother had vasculitis, my father had type 2 diabetes, his mother had strokes, and her father died of heart disease at 50, her mother after multiple heart attacks, at 66. So I feel lucky to have gotten to 58 with "MS" alone. Oh, and one other has vitaligo.

I'm not saying they are all related by the same thing, but wouldn't it be marvelous if the lack of a single protein could have caused some of those troubles? I have a friend who has had a very rough life who could potentially have her spinal cord injury treated. It was a cervical spine injury, and the symptoms are very similar to "MS".

I could be wrong, but I think myelin coats axons. Atrophy of your muscles might be a bigger enemy than cell death of your neurons, because the brain has oodles of spare capacity, and you're never too old to learn or re-learn, but disuse may mean that pathways that are still intact may get cannibalized in reinforcing "old tricks", because brains fiercely compete for proven working resources. Keep exercising!

Maybe it's the death of oligodendrocytes that is my biggest problem, because I think I have a long way to go before my immune system will win, but if parts of my brain can't be maintained or re-used, because the oligos can't get food or air, that might get me first. Especially around my vagus nerve, which has had it's troubles.
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Re: Researchers report potential MS breakthrough

Postby Leonard » Mon Feb 13, 2012 6:56 am

I think they are coming close...
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