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Research into Multiple Sclerosis Raises Hopes of New Treatment

By Chris Dade     Aug 24, 2009 in Health
Scientists at the University of Bristol in the West of England have discovered that a protein present in the human body can resist Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Galanin is a protein which, according to Professor David Wynick, has been recognized for some time as offering protection for all of the body's nerve systems.
Now, in tests conducted on mice by a team brought together by Professor Wynick, it has been established that in high quantities galanin offers complete resistance to Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis (EAE), a disease introduced in to animals, mainly rodents, by scientists wanting to replicate human MS.
Further tests were then conducted on human brain tissue, the nerve cells of the brain contain galanin, and the resistance to MS was confirmed once more.
Whilst the results of the tests are certainly welcome, producing a cure for MS, or even a means to reduce its severity will, reports the BBC, still take something like ten years.
MS, alternatively known as Disseminated Sclerosis or Encephalomyelitis Disseminata, in essence involves an attack on the body's central nervous system. At present MS is incurable but its effects and the regularity with which it strikes, and its severity when it strikes, can be controlled by drugs.
At any given time it can affect up to 150 people per 100,000 of the population and is a non-life threatening condition, more commonly found in females, which does not necessarily impact on a person's life expectancy.
Upon hearing about the results of the research Dr Doug Brown from the MS Society of Great Britain said:This is an early study and there's a long way to go before we understand what this means for people with MS, but any insight into how MS might be treated is valuable to researchers. This is worth further investigation
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