Doctors, scientists make medical ‘breakthrough’ that could help treat multiple sclerosis

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PORTLAND, Ore. — Doctors and scientists have reportedly made a medical breakthrough that could help those living with multiple sclerosis (MS).

According to a study conducted and published by researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University, scientists have developed a compound that can help repair mylin, a protective cover for cells in the brain and spine.

MS is a chronic condition impacting an estimated 2.3 million people worldwide, according to the research. For those with MS the sheath covering nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord become damaged, slowing or blocking electrical signals from reaching the eyes, muscles and other parts of the body.

Although there are several treatments and medications that can alleviate symptoms, there is no cure for MS.

Two of the senior authors involved in the study said the drug they helped create is the first of its kind for the treatment of MS.

“There are no drugs available today that will re-myelinate the de-myelinated axons and nerve fibers, and ours does that,” Tom Scanlan, Ph.D., professor of physiology and pharmacology in the OHSU School of Medicine, is quoted saying.

The results of this new drug reportedly showed promise in mice with genetically engineered MS.

However, Dennis Bourdette, M.D., chair of neurology in the OHSU School of Medicine and director of the OHSU Multiple Sclerosis Center, said he expects it will be a few years before the compound is ready for clinical trials.

Click here to read the full study on OHSU’s website.

More on multiple sclerosis, here.

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