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Vitamin D Could Be Instrumental in Repairing Nerve Damage in MS

December 8, 2015

It has long been known that Vitamin D is beneficial to any MS patient, but it is now coming out that a protein activated by Vitamin D can help repair the damage done to myelin. A study published in the Journal of Cell Biology shows significant evidence that Vitamin D could be a possible treatment for MS in the future.

Researchers, from the MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair, identified that the “vitamin D receptor” protein pairs with an existing protein, called the RXR gamma receptor, already known to be involved in the repair of myelin, the protective sheath surrounding nerve fibers.

By adding vitamin D to brain stem cells where the proteins were present, they found the production rate of myelin making cells (oligodendrocytes) increased by 80%. When they blocked the vitamin D receptor to stop it from working, the RXR gamma protein alone was unable to stimulate the production of oligodendrocytes.

Professor Robin Franklin from the MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair and the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Stem Cell Institute, who led the study, says: “For years scientists have been searching for a way to repair damage to myelin. So far, the majority of research on vitamin D has looked at its role in the cause of the disease. This work provides significant evidence that vitamin D is also involved in the regeneration of myelin once the disease has started. In the future we could see a myelin repair drug that works by targeting the vitamin D receptor.”

See more at: https://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/vitamin-d-could-repair-nerve-damage-in-multiple-sclerosis-study-suggests#sthash.1WJ7GDBf.dpuf