Neurons Can Re-Grow in MS Lesions

A recent small study has provided researchers with some evidence that the adult human brain has the ability to grow neurons. The said study was conducted by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute and which included monitoring nine people with multiple sclerosis and another control group consisting of four healthy people.

Multiple sclerosis is a disease that affects the Central Nervous System. The disease is characterized by the body’s own immune system to attack and destroy the myelin sheath, an cover of tissue cells that protects the nerves. Once the myelin sheath is damaged, the nerve signals are disrupted and tend to misfire, resulting in various physical symptoms.

The researchers both analyzed the neurons in normal sub cortical white matter as well as those in acute and chronic demyelinated brain lesions. The researchers initially found out that neurons found in white matter also run the risk of damage during the demyelination process.

However, the researchers also found out that there are a small percentage of old multiple sclerosis lesions where there was a perceived increase in white matter neurons, about 72 percent more than in normal brain regions. The new white matter neurons appear also to be fully developed.

According to research leader Bruce Trapp, a neurosciences chair at Lerner, in a Cleveland Clinic news release, "Our study suggests that demyelinated tissues produce signals that can enhance the generation of new neurons in damaged areas of the brain. Based on our findings, there is enough evidence to support the idea that new neurons can re-grow in multiple sclerosis lesions". What remains unclear to researchers is the level of function that the new neurons have which the team plan to further look into.

Source: medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=91523

 
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