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Prof. Robin Franklin leads new study on MS treatments

last modified Nov 22, 2016 03:08 PM

Multiple sclerosis treatments that repair damage to the brain could be developed thanks to new research. A study has shed light on how cells are able to regenerate protective sheaths around nerve fibres in the brain.

These sheaths, made up of a substance called myelin, are critical for the quick transmission of nerve signals, enabling vision, sensation and movement, but break down in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

The study, by the University of Edinburgh and a team led by Professor Robin Franklin of the Cambridge Stem Cell Institute, found that immune cells known as macrophages, help trigger the regeneration of myelin. Researchers found that following loss of or damage to myelin, macrophages can release a compound called activin-A, which activates production of more myelin.

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