Some exciting news came out of OHSU and UCSF this week that will hopefully help us combat MS and several other diseases.
The researchers have been working on a stem cell therapy to replace myelin in the brain. The loss of myelin – which acts as insulation for brain cells – can cause serious illness when it degrades.
As part of this line of research, kids with a rare disease where their brains can’t make myelin were treated…and the results were promising.
From news coverage by Bloomberg.
The children have a genetic disorder called Pelizaeus- Merzbacher, in which the brain can’t make myelin, the fatty insulation for nerve cells that helps conduct brain signals. The children all had evidence of myelin growth a year later. The increased abilities shown by three of the boys in the University of California San Francisco study may bode well for other diseases caused by a lack of myelin insulation, including multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy, the authors wrote.
“Those were severely impaired children,” said Stephen Back, a professor of pediatrics and neurology at Portland’s Oregon Health & Science University, in a telephone interview. “The fact that they showed any neurological improvement is very encouraging.”
You can read the full Bloomberg story here.
We spoke with Dr.Back on camera this week, here’s what else he had to say: