In disease, the brain seems to activate mechanisms to repair myelin
, but cannot complete the process.
In MS, the immune system wrongly attacks the myelin
sheath covering nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord, which can lead to symptoms such as vision loss, pain, fatigue and paralysis.
Rich Levy, CEO of Myelin
, a Baird Capital portfolio company, will become chairman of both companies.
How oligodendrocytes work together to wrap nerve fibers in myelin
becomes evident in Brainbow photos of the roughly 3-millimeterlong optic nerve, the team reports in the April Glia.
There is a "honeymoon" period during which some regeneration of myelin
, called remyelination, does occur, but this ability to regenerate dissipates as the disease progresses and the patient ages.
The study in mice shows that new myelin
must be made each time a skill is learned later in life and the structure of the brain's white matter changes during new practical activities by increasing the number of myelin
The grass roots campaign was led by three mothers and advocates affected by ALD, two of whom have lost children to the disease: Patti Chapman of The Myelin
Project, Gina Cousineau of Be a Hero Become a Donor Foundation, and Janis Sherwood of Fight ALD.
This immune inflammation also damages oligodendrocytes, the type of cell that manufactures and repairs myelin
has broad effects on the coordination of movement and the speed of reflexes, which allows animals to move quickly and easily.
Just recently, Miller and his colleagues discovered a more specific treatment that would only target auto reactive T cells directed against the myelin
is the substance that insulates nerve axons, and without sufficient myelination, nerve impulses are not properly transmitted and neurological function is impaired.
Existing MS treatments act by slowing down the loss of myelin
-forming cells, but there is great interest in finding new medications that could repair the myelin
by stimulating the regeneration of myelin
Part of the reason MS tends to worsen as patients get older is that the body's ability to replace the myelin
sheaths that surround nerve fibers and cause them to function normally is impaired in aging MS patients.
The molecule is able to stimulate stem cells to repair myelin
, the fatty material that coats and insulates nerves.
That coating is called the myelin
sheath, and its deterioration over the years is thought to play a role in age-related cognitive decline and a number of neurodegenerative diseases.