Photo: a researcher looking at brain samples at the MS Society Tissue Bank

Research reveals brain cells which are most vulnerable in MS

New research, which used tissue from the MS Society Tissue Bank, has found that cells known as ‘projection neurons’ are damaged by the body’s own immune cells in MS.

These results tell us more about what’s going on in the brain in MS, and could potentially lead to more targeted treatments for people living with MS.

What did the research find?

Dr Lucas Schirmer, lead scientist on the project from the University of Heidelberg, said:

“Using a new technique called single nuclei RNA sequencing, we were able to study the genetic make-up of individual brain cells to understand why some cells might be more susceptible to damage in MS than others."

The team found these ‘projection neurons’ were more vulnerable to damage in the brains of people with MS than those without.

What does this mean for people with MS?

Understanding more about the cells involved could help us to find more targeted treatments for the condition.

Dr Sorrel Bickley, our Head of Biomedical Research, said:

“This research used samples from the UK MS Society Tissue Bank, which has been vital in advancing understanding about what goes wrong in MS. These new results illustrate how incredibly powerful new technological advances can be when applied to human tissue.

"Over 100,000 people live with MS in the UK and it can be relentless, painful, and disabling. Our priority now is to find targeted treatments to slow or stop MS for everyone.”