MS researchers are continuing their search for a cure, and some promising new treatments are on the horizon. What new treatments could be coming for MS?
Myelin fixers: For years, researchers have been looking for ways to repair the myelin (the protective coating for nerve cells) that is damaged in MS. Now, some exciting new studies are underway that could lead to the development of myelin-repair medications. These studies aim to better understand how the body builds and maintains myelin, how different nerve cells communicate as the body repairs damaged nerve cells, and how we can manipulate these processes to encourage the body to repair its own myelin.
Hormones: For women with MS, hormone therapy may offer a new treatment possibility. MS is much more common in women than in men, and early research has shown that treatment with estriol, a female hormone, may help decrease disease activity for women with relapsing-remitting MS. Larger-scale, 2-year studies are now planned to further evaluate this treatment.
Protecting the brain: In order for the immune system to attack the brain, immune system cells must get across the border between the brain and the rest of the body, known as the blood-brain barrier. This border is lined with cells called endothelial cells. Researchers are looking into ways to help endothelial cells keep the invading immune system cells out of the brain and prevent the nerve damage caused by MS. This could lead to new brain-protection treatments for MS.
As research continues to improve our understanding of MS, more exciting new treatments can be developed.
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