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Synthetic Compound Can Treat Myelin Loss in MS

June 26, 2018

A synthetic compound that has demonstrated the ability to remyelinate damaged axons and alter the immune system, has begun to foreshadow a promising new way of treating multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The current available therapies for relapsing-remitting MS prevent relapses and slow disability progression by reducing inflammation; however, they are unable to restore myelination or reverse damage.

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR), found that indazole chloride, a synthetic compound that acts on 1 form of the body’s estrogen receptors previously shown to reduce MS symptoms in mouse models, can treat the loss of myelin in the disease.

Loss of myelin causes the nerve signals to slow down or stop, affecting vision, movement, memory, and more. When remyelination occurs the damaged axons, nerve impulses travel faster than before and decrease disability caused by MS. The UCR researchers determined that the change in the immune system provides a protective shield for oligodendrocytes, which can help potentially prevent myelin damage and even reverse it.

According to the researchers, indazole chloride helps to reduce the “bad inflammation” while promoting “good inflammation” by strengthening the production of a molecule called CXCL1, which makes oligodendrocytes resistant to bad inflammatory signals. The potential neuroprotective benefits from the presence of CXCL1 could have implications for improved MS therapies, the study noted.

“As a potential therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, indazole chloride may represent the first in a novel class of drugs capable of reducing disability burden in patients with multiple sclerosis,” Seema Tiwari-Woodruff, PhD, study author, associate professor of biomedical sciences in the School of Medicine, said in a press release.

Via Specialty Pharmacy Times