Multiple Sclerosis which is commonly known as MS is a horrific disease that affects the brain’s nerve cells as well as the spinal cord which leads to both mental and physical problems. These include, muscle issues, blindness, ad double vision amongst others.
MS can even be fatal and can severely affect the life expectancy of those who suffer from it. Although medication can mitigate some of the symptoms of MS, there has still to date not been a complete cure for this horrible disease.
However, things may change for the 2.3 million people who are suffering from MS as Dr Su Metcalfe has reported to be on the verge of making a medical breakthrough. She belives that the attack on nerve cells can be stopped thanks to a new medication developed by her company LIFNano.
“Some people get progressive MS, so go straight to the severe form of the disease, but the majority have a relapsing or remitting version,” Dr. Metcalfe said to Cambridge News.
“It can start from the age of 30, and there’s no cure, so all you can do is suppress the immune response, but the drugs that do that have side effects, and you can’t repair the brain. The cost of those drugs is very high, and in the UK there are a lot of people who don’t get treated at all.”
The doctor said that she used a stem cell particle known as LIF to control the attack on the nerves of the body.
“I was looking to see what controls the immune response and stops it auto-attacking us,” she explains.
“I discovered a small binary switch, controlled by a LIF, which regulates inside the immune cell itself. LIF is able to control the cell to ensure it doesn’t attack your own body but then releases the attack when needed.
“That LIF, in addition to regulating and protecting us against attack, also plays a major role in keeping the brain and spinal cord healthy. In fact it plays a major role in tissue repair generally, turning on stem cells that are naturally occurring in the body, making it a natural regenerative medicine, but also plays a big part in repairing the brain when it’s been damaged.
“So I thought, this is fantastic. We can treat auto-immune disease, and we’ve got something to treat MS, which attacks both the brain and the spinal cord. So you have a double whammy that can stop and reverse the auto-immunity, and also repair the damage caused in the brain.”
It goes without saying that further research must be conducted but the results so far look promising as hope transpires from this A data for a potential cure has been set at 2020.
“The 2020 date is ambitious, but with the funding we’ve got and the funding we’re hoping to raise, it should be possible,” she says.
Dr Metcalfe and her team are also looking at curing other severe diseases.
“Psoriasis is high up on our list, and diabetes is another. Downstream there are all the dementias because a LIF is a major health factor for the brain. So if we can get it into the brain we can start protecting against dementia.”
We wish Dr Metcalfe the best of luck.
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