A review about mechanisms in PPMS
Unlike relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, there are very few therapeutic options for patients with progressive forms of multiple sclerosis. While immune mechanisms are key participants in the pathogenesis of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis, the mechanisms underlying the development of progressive multiple sclerosis are less well understood. Putative mechanisms behind progressive multiple sclerosis have been put forth: insufficient energy production via mitochondrial dysfunction, activated microglia, iron accumulation, oxidative stress, activated astrocytes, Wallerian degeneration, apoptosis, etc. Furthermore, repair processes such as remyelination are incomplete. Experimental therapies that strive to improve metabolism within neurons and glia, e.g., oligodendrocytes, could act to counter inadequate energy supplies and/or support remyelination. Most experimental approaches have been examined as standalone interventions; however, it is apparent that the biochemical steps being targeted are part of larger pathways, which are further intertwined with other metabolic pathways. Thus, the potential benefits of a tested intervention, or of an established therapy, e.g., ocrelizumab, could be undermined by constraints on upstream and/or downstream steps. If correct, then this argues for a more comprehensive, multifaceted approach to therapy. Here we review experimental approaches to support neuronal and glial metabolism, and/or promote remyelination, which may have potential to lessen or delay progressive multiple sclerosis.