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Scientists work to stop multiple sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) could be stopped with a range of treatments scientists say could be tested in late-stage trials within six years, a charity has said.

The announcement comes from the Multiple Sclerosis Society following a series of scientific discoveries.

The studies have led research leaders to believe treatments that stop disability progression, and potentially prevent the need for a wheelchair in the future, are within grasp.

Such treatments have eluded scientists for decades, but a new paper published in Cell Stem Cell is the first to suggest myelin damage can be repaired, one of three things needed to stop MS.

The MS Society funded research indicates alternate day fasting, and the fasting mimetic drug metformin, already used worldwide to treat diabetes, could be the answer to stopping MS, through its ability to restore cells to a younger, healthier state.

Studying rats, researchers at the MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair at the Wellcome-MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute found the drug was able to return cells to a “more youthful state”.

They also found it could encourage the re-growth of myelin, the fatty sheath that surrounds our nerves, which is damaged in MS.

Myelin regenerative treatments are considered essential to stop disease progression in MS.

Scientists discovered the reduced regenerative capacity of stem cells, in people with progressive forms of MS, is down to things that happen to everyone as we age, including reduced metabolic function and increased DNA damage.

Researchers found both fasting and treatment with metformin could reverse these changes, and restore the regenerative capacity of the cells, which are responsible for making myelin in the body.

The research was led by Professor Robin Franklin, director of the MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair, and Dr Bjorn Neumann.

Prof Franklin said: “This is the one of the most significant advances in myelin repair therapies there has ever been.

“The findings shed light on why cells lose their ability to regenerate myelin, and how this process might be reversed.

“Although research so far has been done in rats, we hope to move it forward into humans soon.

“MS is relentless, painful, and disabling, and, while it’s early days, this discovery could lead us to vital new treatment targets for progressive forms of the condition.”

Supported by experts, the MS Society is launching a major appeal to raise PS100 million ($A180 million) over a 10-year period, to accelerate new research.

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  1. I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005, and I was a woman of 40. They put me on Rebif which I took until 2008 and was switched to Copaxone. I had two relapses on Rebif, none on Copaxone. I did notice my balance getting worse, and my memory, as well as muscle spasms.I was placed on Copaxone, it helped me but not very much. My neurologist advised me to try natural treatments and introduced me to Rich Herbal Garden Multiple Sclerosis Disease Herbal formula, I read alot of positive reviews from other patients who used the treatment and i immediately started on the treatment. I had great improvement and relief with this treatment, total decline of symptoms. Great improvement with my Vision problems, co-ordination, balance, muscle, mood etc, I gained back my life with this treatment and can never be thankful enough. Visit Rich Herbal Garden official website I’m 52 now, and have never been healthier.

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