|Dr Steven Petratos with his MS Research group|
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is commonly induced by the specific destruction of the protective sheath of nerve fibres, known as myelin, by immune cells, which mistakenly attack this structure. However, it has been shown that MS does not only consist of this disease pattern but is a multifactorial disease with continual destruction of the nerve fibres even without large numbers of immune cells invading the brain and the spinal cord. Importantly, the molecules which may contribute or initiate such damage in MS are becoming known. By targeting these molecules during MS, it may be possible to limit the destruction which occurs to nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord, promoting a better clinical outcome for individuals suffering with MS.
The project is investigating how damage occurs in nerve fibres with progressive clinical symptoms in the experimental animal model of MS. We plan to block the molecules that cause the nerve fibre deterioration, using a new technique of transplanting modified blood stem cells to deliver blocking agents to the brain and spinal cord.
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