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Stem cell discovery could treat problem at the core of MS

Stem cell discovery could treat problem at the core of MS
14th October 2011

Scientists have honed in on the stem cell that may be able to treat the brain problem at the core of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Researchers at the universities of Rochester and Buffalo have isolated and directed stem cells from the human brain to become oligodendrocytes, which make the crucial fatty myelin that coats neurons and allows them to travel through the brain effectively.

Steven Goldman, lead researcher on the project, stated: "These cells are our best candidates right now for someday helping patients with MS."

"These cells migrate more effectively throughout the brain, and they myelinate other cells more quickly and more efficiently than any other cells assessed thus far."

MS studies with whole genome data in 2010 identified approximately 20 genes that determine the susceptibility of people to MS, with the figure expected to rise to 80 by 2012.

This will allow scientists to possess an accurate genetic knowledge of the disease and it has been predicted that eventually MS will be as controllable as HIV/Aids.

Read about Barchester expertise in offering multiple sclerosis support.