University of Adelaide scientists have prevented the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice. MS is a progressive disease where the body attacks its own central nervous system, causing nerve inflammation and scarring. It results in the impairment of motor, sensory and cognitive function. Human trials were underway in other labs around the world, but any drug would be at least five years away.
“If this approach works in humans, it would stop the inflammation,” she said.
“But it won’t undo any damage to the nerves which has already occurred.”
In animal trials, Dr Iain Comerford and colleagues at the university successfully prevented the progression of MS by inhibiting the molecule, known as PI3Kgamma, which activates the cells that cause the immune system to attack itself and cause the nerve damage.