‘Axonal damage is reversible’ in multiple sclerosis

March 28th, 2011 - 7:05 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, March 28 (ANI): Researchers have indicated that ‘axonal damage is spontaneously reversible’ in early stages of multiple sclerosis thus paving way for new treatment for the disease.

MS is a serious condition in which nerve-cell projections, or axons, in the brain and the spinal cord are destroyed as a result of misdirected inflammatory reactions. It is often characterized by an unpredictable course, with periods of remission being interrupted by episodes of relapse.

Instead a previously unrecognized mechanism, termed focal axonal degeneration (FAD), is responsible for the primary damage. FAD can damage axons that are still wrapped in their protective myelin sheath. This process could also help explain some of the spontaneous remissions of symptoms that are characteristic of MS.

“In its early stages, axonal damage is spontaneously reversible,” said LMU Munich Professor Martin Kerschensteiner of the Medical Center of the University of Munich.

“This finding gives us a better understanding of the disease, but it may also point to a new route to therapy, as processes that are in principle reversible should be more susceptible to treatment.”

The study has been published online in the Nature Medicine. (ANI)

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