Could modified heparin promote myelin repair?

Photo of glass bottles in a lab

Lead researcher: Professor Sue Barnett

Based at: University of Glasgow

Grant we awarded: £150,362

In MS the protective myelin coating around nerve cells is damaged. Our bodies have the ability to repair myelin, but unfortunately in MS this process becomes less effective over time.

Researchers have discovered that myelin repair can be boosted in the lab using a modified version of the blood thinning drug heparin. It could also help to protect nerves from damage.

What happens in this project?

Our scientists will investigate the potential benefits of modified heparin in animal model of MS. They also compare the benefits of giving the drug orally or as an injection.

How will it help people with MS?

If modified heparin can myelin repair and protect nerves from damage in mice then it can be tested as a treatment for all forms of MS.

Because other forms of heparin have safely been used as medicines for many years it could go through clinical trials more quickly than other drugs.

The difference you can make

There are currently no treatments available to help repair damage caused by MS. We need to support innovative research like this if treatments are to be reality.

The next research breakthrough is in reach

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£30could process one blood sample, giving us crucial information about genes that could lead to treatment breakthroughs

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£10a month could pay for lab equipment like microscope slides to study the building blocks of MS

£20a month could pay for lab equipment like petri dishes to grow bacteria important for studying genetics

£30a month could process a blood sample to help us understand what causes MS, so we can stop it in its tracks

Your regular donation means we can keep funding world class MS research with confidence. Together we will stop MS.

Photo: young girl with MS sits in hospital chair smiling at male nurse