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OHSU doctors discover scientists breakthrough in MS



PORTLAND, Ore. – Scientists and doctors have made a major breakthrough that could help millions of people around the world live with multiple sclerosis.

Tom Scanlan belongs to a team of researchers, physicians, and scientists who have developed a drug for repairing nerve damage from MS

"This is a search that can be said to have been in the developmental phase for at least 20 years "I think we're closer than I ever was to making it a new medicine that would help people," said Scanlan, "so it's a big deal for me."

It's 20 Years ago, when he developed a drug in 1

996 that he considered to lower cholesterol and was suitable for the treatment of the rare neurodegenerative disorder called adrenoleukodystrophy or ALD.

ALD and MS both affect the protective envelope of the nerves called myelin MS causes your immune system to attack the central nervous system, causing damage to the myelin sheath, so imagine this as insulation on a copper wire If nerves are damaged, they can not send or receive messages as they should.

When Scanlan joined OHSU in the early 2000s, his team went to work and tested this drug to repair myelin in MS.

With With a donation from the Laura Fund for Innovations in Multiple Sclerosis, the team put the medicine into action.

The results were promising for mice with genetically modified MS.

"Today, there are no medications that repair myelin," Scanlan said. "There are MS medications that help with disease aspects of the immune system, but they do not repair the damaged myelin that happens with these abnormalities of the immune system."

Laura Wieden Blatner was diagnosed with MS in 1995. Her parents founded the Laura Fund and named it in their honor.

"MS has influenced my life for the better and for worse, it has been taken away, but it has given me many more insights and blessings that I have ever experienced," said Wieden Blatner.

She says this kind of medicine would be amazing for someone living with MS.

"It could fill all those skills they were losing, be it mobility or cognition or eyesight or language," said Wieden Blatner. "There are so many things that people with MS are struggling with, that would only change their lives, just getting back a few skills would be amazing."

Read the study

The drug is still years away. It would still need to undergo clinical trials in humans and be approved by the FDA.

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