Why Can't We Reverse Nerve Damage?
New Research: Could Our Own Myelin Be Triggering MS?
Myelin Different in People With MS
The study, published inActa Neuropathologica Communicationsin August 2019, found that the protein structure of myelin — called myelin basic protein (MBP), which the body uses to turn into myelin — is different in people with MS than in the general population.
The working theory to come out of the research is that two areas of MBP are weak or deficient in some way, which leads to an abnormal breakdown once myelin is formed. It’s possible that this early and atypical breakdown is what triggers the body’s immune response that leads to MS.
New Target for MS Treatment
Current MS medications target the inflammatory response or the immune system directly. If this new theory pans out, new medications could be used to bind to these two weak areas of MBP, thus stopping the immune response before it starts.
Professor Roger Truscott, one of the study’s two authors, cautions, “It is important to emphasize that this is not a cure for MS; however, for the first time, we have a target.”
This could be a major breakthrough in scientists’ understanding of the cause of MS, and it could, therefore, be a whole new avenue by which to attack the disease itself — rather than focusing treatment on the reaction of the body to the disease.
Time will tell as to how this all plays out, but for those of us who have been waiting for more systemic understanding of multiple sclerosis, this news is big. Really big.
Wishing you and your family the best of health.
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