It may be possible to prompt the brain to repair nerve system damage caused by multiple sclerosis (MS), say UK researchers
In experiments on rats, the Cambridge and Edinburgh University researchers identified a signaling pathway in the brain which appears able to activate the brain's own stem cells to regenerate the myelin sheath that protects nerve fibers, BBC News reported.
In MS patients, the immune system attacks the myelin sheath.
"The aim of our research is to slow the progression of MS with the eventual aim of stopping and reversing it," said Professor Charles ffrench-Constant of the University of Edinburgh's MS Society Center for MS Research, BBC News reported. "This discovery is very exciting as it could potentially pave the way to find drugs that could help repair damage caused to the important layers that protect nerve cells in the brain."
While these early findings shows promise, more research is needed before new treatments might be developed, said the researchers.
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