New insight into disability prevention in multiple sclerosis

New insight into disability prevention in multiple sclerosis

 

Monday, 10 June, 2019

Dr Veronique Miron and colleagues have published today a study, part-funded by the MS Society, which could aid in preventing disability progression in multiple sclerosis. The findings indicate that certain immune cells must die in order for the body to repair myelin, which is damaged in peopl with MD and can lead to permanent disability. These findings could pave the way to vital new treatments. 

MS affects over 100,000 people in the UK, and can be painful and exhausting, making it harder to do everyday things like walk, talk, eat, and think. 

Dr Veronique Miron said, "When myelin is damaged it stops nerves working properly. The body has the ability to repair myelin but in people with MS this doesn’t happen as effectively. Our research found myelin repair only occurs when immune cells called macrophages die. The death of the harmful cells stops inflammation and means new, helpful cells are created that support myelin repair instead. We think that problems with myelin repair in MS may be caused when harmful macrophages don’t die. This surprising discovery could prove really crucial to new treatments, as we can now focus on finding a therapy that kills off the harmful macrophages and so helps repair myelin."