Apr 21, 2014 – MS Repair

April 21, 2014

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ANCHOR LEAD: CAN WE ACTUALLY REPAIR THE DAMAGE DUE TO MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS? ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

Multiple sclerosis damages an insulating material called myelin, which allows nerve impulses to be quickly transmitted. Most therapies have focused on interrupting the damaging process, but Peter Calabresi, an MS expert at Johns Hopkins, says now efforts are underway to repair the damage.

CALABRESI: The thinking is that MS could be one of the first brain diseases where we actually repair brain tissue. Now we’re actually trying to enhance remyelinization, and it turns out that scientists here at Johns Hopkins have been studying these developmental pathways and have found that about 5% of the glial cells in the brain are precursor cells that have the capacity to become new oligodendrocytes or new myelin making cells. And it suggests the possibility that we might not have to use stem cells from another source, we might be able to tap into Mother Nature’s own reserve. :32

At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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