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Read the latest news about multiple sclerosis research, clinical trials and more. Stay informed about approved therapies, new medications and developments to treat MS.


Scarlet & Gray MS Research News

Scarlet & Gray MS Research News

New study shows it might be possible to reverse cell damage in patients with multiple sclerosis

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience damage to the myelin sheath, the material that surrounds and protects nerve cells. This damage slows down or blocks messages between the brain and body, leading to the symptoms of MS. It has long been believed this damage is permanent and irreversible. New research suggests that it might be possible to reverse some of this damage by targeting the brain cells that produce myelin, called oligodendrocytes. Researchers at McGill University in Canada studied brain tissue from MS patients and found that myelin was altered but the oligodendrocytes were still intact for a period of time. In cell cultures they found that the changes in oligodendrocytes were reversible and associated  with  the metabolism of the cells. The authors concluded that in the beginning of the MS damage there is a window of opportunity, to protect the oligodendrocytes.

Jaime Imitola, MD, an Ohio State MS neurologist and director of the Progressive MS Clinic, says the results are encouraging. Dr. Imitola investigates how to repair the brain of MS patients and how to develop new medications based on stem cells technology.

“What this means for our patients is that in the future we might be able to offer medications that protect the oligodendrocytes, repairing or reversing damage before that window of opportunity closes,” he said.

This paper was published online in Annals of Neurology.

Neuropsychologist shares the benefits of mindfulness with MS patients

Patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) often experience stress, depression, and anxiety. These can occur as a result of both the disease and its impact on daily activities and relationships, and in turn can cause or worsen further disease activity. However, emerging research on a practice known as mindfulness shows that it can help to reduce the impact of stress and negative mood on health and well-being. OSU clinical neuropsychologist Dr. Cady Block recently spoke about mindfulness at an event for patients and caregivers in Louisville, KY. Dr. Block related the latest research on mindfulness in patients with multiple sclerosis, and guided attendees through a mindfulness exercise to demonstrate its effectiveness. 

Dr. Block noted: “It was a great event, and a special opportunity to show how something as simple as shifting our daily habits and mindset can be so impactful for our health.” She then added,  “I always enjoy getting out of the Ohio State Neuropsychology Clinic to meet our patients and their families one-on-one in the community. As a trained specialist in the science and practice of neuropsychology, it keeps me connected to their unique needs and experiences. And I always learn something new from them in return.”

Stem Cell Therapy for Multiple Sclerosis

Stem cell therapy is widely considered to be the next big hope in medicine. Researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are investigating whether stem cells can slow MS disease activity and repair damage to the nervous system. This research will help to determine if stem cell therapies can one day become a safe and effective treatment option for multiple sclerosis.

Michael Racke, MD, is investigating the stem cell therapy’s potential to treat multiple sclerosis. The "Beat MS" stem cell transplantation trial will compare the effectiveness of stem cell transplants to traditional MS treatments in order to reduce the symptoms of MS.

Ohio State MS Experts in the News

Ohio State MS Experts in the News

Videos

Dr. Racke discusses the "Beat MS" stem cell transplantation trial with Dr. Kantor from MS World during the recent CMSC meeting. Stem cell transplants may be a treatment option for patients who have progressive MS.

Dr. Prakash, associate professor of clinical psychology, speaks with Jennifer Pizzuto from MS World about mindfulness meditation training for MS patients.

Dr. Imitola discusses what genotyping and phenotyping is and how they may help MS patients with Dr. Kantor from MS World.

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