Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS). In Germany, more than 280,000 people are affected. In most cases, MS progresses in relapses, which occur completely irregularly as excessive inflammatory reactions in the spinal cord and brain. In the process, misdirected immune cells destroy the protective myelin sheaths of the nerve fibers and thus damage the nerves.
High-dose cortisone is usually used to slow down the inflammation. Preventive immunotherapy is also used to reduce the number and severity of attacks. It is true that the nerve fiber sheaths can be partially restored by the body’s own repair processes. But this spontaneous remyelination usually proceeds incompletely in MS patients or fails to occur at all.
And to date, there is no drug that promotes this repair. Researchers from the Department of Neurology with Clinical Neurophysiology and the Institute of Clinical Biochemistry at the Hannover Medical School (MHH) have now discovered a naturally occurring mechanism that can be used to decisively improve the repair of the myelin sheaths.