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Taurine Has Been Seen to Boost Effectiveness of MS Therapies in the Remyelination Process

December 19, 2017

Taurine, a natural metabolite that helps oligodendrocytes (cells responsible for myelin production) to fully mature and activate the remyelination process of damaged nerve cells, could possibly boost the effectiveness of multiple sclerosis therapies.

Researchers from the study, “Metabolomics-based discovery of a metabolite that enhances oligodendrocyte maturation,” say that the remission of symptoms those with MS experience are dependent on remyelination.

Researchers also say that introducing this kind of treatment could improve overall efficacy in MS patients and could be added to the “MS therapeutic regime”. They found that Cogentin (benztropine), an FDA approved therapy for Parkinson’s disease, could greatly benefit those with MS as well.

Scientists had found that Cogentin promotes the variation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells into mature oligodendrocyte cells that produce myelin, which overall improves the repair of damaged nerves. Researchers now aim to identify whether these endogenous metabolites promote oligodendrocyte differentiation into cells that are producing myelin, therefore scientists performed a metabolomics analysis in order to map all the metabolites in cells.

They tested the taurine in a petri dish—this alone did not successfully introduce oligodendrocyte differentiation but it did boost the productivity of drugs like Cogentin and miconazole. Researchers stated that mixing taurine with drugs that induce differentiation really enhances the process, which in the end could lead to new clinical options for MS patients, since taurine has been found safe in certain quantities. 

Researchers do say the tests must be done on rodent models, although this is a good place to begin. The findings have been found to support the use of metabolomics-based tactics in the search for new therapies for diseases like multiple sclerosis. They have said that this offers unique insight into different diseases mechanistically and therapeutically.