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Can restoring oxygen to the central nervous system help in MS

Microscope and slide
Lead researcher:
Professor Ken Smith
Based at:
Institute of Neurology, UCL
MS Society funding:

About the project

Researchers have shown that inflammation in MS can reduce blood flow to the brain and spinal cord, resulting in less oxygen reaching the cells.

As well as stopping the nerve cells from working properly, a lack of oxygen also damages the myelin-making cells in the brain, and this can cause myelin damage.

Our researchers want to know if improving blood flow could be beneficial in MS. They will use three different models of MS to look for drugs that can restore the blood supply to the brain even when there’s inflammation, meaning the cells get enough oxygen to function properly.

The team will look at which of these drugs is most effective at reducing MS symptoms and promoting myelin health.

How will it help people with MS?

If successful, this project could identify a drug treatment that can treat functional and structural damage in MS by restoring oxygen levels. Such a treatment could then be taken forward to clinical trial.

The difference you can make

We want everyone with MS to have access to effective treatments. With your help, we can continue to support vital research like this.