How can we measure myelin repair in the brain

Lead researcher Professor Robin Franklin

Based at: University of Cambridge January 2019

MS Society funding: £282,280

About the project

In MS, our immune system attacks the protective myelin coating surrounding nerve cells. Specialist cells in the brain are able to repair damaged myelin. Researchers are developing treatments to improve myelin repair, but without being able to measure myelin growth, it is hard to test how good they are.

This project will target living myelin producing cells in the brain so they can be viewed by MRI. This is achieved by engineering cells that light up depending on how much myelin repair is taking place.

How will it help people with MS?

If we can measure myelin growth then we can see which new treatments are working best for people with MS. This will speed up drug development and deliver new treatments for MS more quickly.

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MS researcher at work in lab, using a pipette