Drugs that activate brain stem cells may reverse multiple sclerosis

An artist’s representation of the study. Scientists found that certain drugs were able to promote remyelination in mouse models of multiple sclerosis. Image courtesy of Case Western Reserve University; Illustrator: Megan Kern

Drugs that activate brain stem cells may reverse multiple sclerosis:

Dr. Tesar’s team found that two compounds in particular, miconazole (an antifungal) and clobetasol (a steroid), stimulated mouse and human OPCs into generating myelin-producing cells.

Next, they examined whether the drugs, when injected into a mouse model of multiple sclerosis, could improve re-myelination. They found that both drugs were effective in activating OPCs to enhance myelination and reverse paralysis. As a result, almost all of the animals regained the use of their hind limbs. They also found that the drugs acted through two very different molecular mechanisms.

“The ability to activate white matter cells in the brain, as shown in this study, opens up an exciting new avenue of therapy development for myelin disorders such as multiple sclerosis,” said Ursula Utz, Ph.D., program director at the NINDS.

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About marypmadigan

Writer/photographer (profession), foreign policy wonk (hobby).
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