Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects millions of people across the globe, and a group of researchers believe they have made a significant breakthrough in finding a treatment for the disease. Scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have discovered a potential neurological trigger for MS, an encouraging step in the fight against the condition.
The research team, led by Dr. Katerina Akassoglou, pinpointed a certain protein that enters the brain and causes the nerve damage that is a hallmark of MS. Over time, the damage leads to a variety of symptoms that can range from fatigue and numbness to paralysis and loss of vision. Scientists are hopeful the findings could lead to a potential cure.
“Dr. Akassoglou’s work reveals a novel target for treating MS – which might protect nerve cells and allow early intervention in the disease process,” said Dr. Ursula Utz, a program director at The National Institutes of Health’s National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
While the study does not offer medical experts a cure just yet, it is a significant step in the right direction. Until there is an effective treatment, however, MS patients have resources available to help them manage, and live with, the condition. Assistive devices, home care and physical therapy are all useful tools, according to the Cleveland Clinic.