For decades people believed the brain was a fixed system that couldn’t regenerate or repair itself. But in 1998, a group of Swedish scientists showed that new nerve cells could form in the adult brain. Further research found that these new nerves developed from a type of stem cell, called a neural stem cell. This revolutionised researchers’ hopes for treating MS. Their focus has been on how to encourage neural stem cells to develop into oligodendrocytes - the cells that can repair myelin.
While some people bask in the sunshine, for people with MS the summer months can be hard. Over 60% of people with MS say that their symptoms get worse in the heat. With symptoms like fatigue, blurred vision and muscle weakness all getting worse with changes in temperature, heat sensitivity can have a massive impact on someone’s life. But what causes heat sensitivity in MS? And what can researchers do to help? We put heat sensitivity under the microscope and speak to a researcher whose work could lead to treatments that stop MS symptoms getting worse in the heat.
You may have seen the suggestion that a vaccination for a common virus could stop MS. We look behind the headlines to see what the original research actually said. A recent paper suggests that MS could be caused by threadworms and Epstein-Barr virus – two common infections. But researchers didn’t present any new evidence and are just proposing it as an idea.
With lots of different sources of evidence, from academic journals to newspapers and social media, it can be hard to figure out what to trust. PhD student Alessandra Dillenburg shares her top tips for assessing scientific evidence.
Targeting the immune system not is as effective for progressive MS as it has been for relapsing MS. We spoke with Professor Chris Linington from the University of Glasgow about his research to understand why this is.
Dealing with a diagnosis of MS can be daunting and getting the right support can be crucial. We spoke to Professor Roshan das Nair from the University of Nottingham about his work to improve the experience of people at diagnosis.