So I was reading an article about how they think they could have a cure for MS, even in its progressive forms, in the next 10 years (I’ll believe it when I see it). But I’m curious to whether this includes people who already have disability and have had MS for years. Does anybody know anything about that? will it reverse MS or simply stop it from progressing?
Where is this article about a possible cure for MS , would be interesting to read. I have had MS for 28 years and was told there would be a cure within 10 years by my Neuro who has now retired. Still waiting for the cure and slowly my MS is getting worse.
I was told the bame 28 years ago - 10 years down the line
10 years from now people will probably be told the cure is on its way - within 10 years!
My neurologist reckons a cure is just a pipe dream at the moment !
In terms of curing existing disability, the issue is the lesions that get picked up on an MRI scan. They’d have to be repaired for any disability to be reversed. There is research that’s looking into this, though I’ve no idea how it’s progressing.
but do they? I’ve always assumed lesions come and go - there when we’re in a relapse but not there when we’re in remission. I wonder if too much importance is put on ‘lesions’ - perhaps if the medics looked elsewhere they may find somethin else which is pertinent to the m.s.
The biggest problem is that when myelin (the material that covers and is supposed to protect the nerves) is damaged for example during a relapse, it cannot repair itself. It shows up as ‘lesions’ or scars. The demyelinating part of the label demonstrating that a lesion is caused by MS is that the myelin is damaged or missing.
If you think of the nerves as being like electrical wiring, and the myelin is the coating which protects the wires. If that coating is damaged, it might either stop the wire from transmitting signals (ie electricity), or have a very iffy connection, leading to fuzzy electrical signals.
When the myelin is lightly damaged, it’s possible for us to develop short cuts or compensate for the damage to the nerve covering. This isn’t the same as repairing or replacing myelin. There’s at present no electrical tape to coat the wire with and ‘repair’ the myelin, even partially.
What seems to have been happening in MS research over the past 30 or so years is that the drug companies in particular, have concentrated on preventing relapses. This in effect protects the myelin by reducing the number and severity of relapses.
But a cure for MS would involve entirely stopping the damage from happening at all or at the least, a means of repairing or replacing myelin.
There isn’t as much research into cures or myelin repair (which could almost be called a ‘cure’ as it could reverse disability if repaired soon enough), because once you cure MS, there’s no call for ongoing expensive treatment. Ie no money in it for the drug companies.
Researchers are working on myelin repair and researching what actually happens in MS, ie what has to be present in a body to cause the MS to start. But the money is in the hands of Big Pharma, and they need the disease to continue in order to make more money.
This is my (utterly unscientific) view of MS lesions, myelin damage and repair.
My MS consultant almost mirrors what Ssssue says.
All the emphasis is, and almost always has been on preventing attacks, very little on myelin repair, and beyond that nerve damage repair.
The problem with preventing attacks is that in many cases the damage has already been caused before a preventative medication is offered.
One nasty relapse is all it takes to be life changing.
My understanding is that, while lesions can come and go during relapse and remission, the lesions can eventually become permanent scars. Sue’s reply is, as always, excellent.
Also, if a relapse has been severe enough to cause axon death, then you’re really stuffed. No revivifying those boys. I think we’ll be lucky if there’s a way to prevent or halt in our lifetime. Reversal of the irreversable is a whole other level of challenge. .