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Latest Research Might Pave Way for Newer, Better MS Treatment

By jeremyc | February 9, 2018

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a serious autoimmune disorder. Its chief characteristics are vision problems, muscle weakness, physical numbness and impaired coordination. At present, there’s no cure for it. Current treatments focus on alleviating its symptoms. However, latest research shows that we might be closer to addressing the main cause of multiple sclerosis.

What causes MS is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that demyelination is responsible for many of its symptoms.

Myelin is a protective covering around axons, which in turn does the all-important job of connecting nerve cells in ours spinal cord and brain. In demyelination, immune system mistakenly attacks this protective sheath, causing disruption in signals which nerve cells transmit to each other. This leads to problems with muscle control, vision, or coordination.

Remyelination, that is creating new protective layer of myelin, can help stop MS from progressing and even stopping it. However, MS specialists have long struggled to find an effective way to trigger remyelination.

In previous research, scientists were able to identify a protein known as activin-A which is crucial for myelin repair. However, they were unable to find how it enhances myelin repair.

In the latest research, experts have been able to discover this process. At the heart of myelin repair is an activin-A receptor. The name of this receptor is activin receptor 2a. Myelin repair occurs when activin combines with this receptor.

According to the researchers, these findings are very exciting. Thanks to them, we can focus on creating drugs which target activin A-receptor to encourage myelin repair after it has been damaged in multiple sclerosis.

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