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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

New technique for imaging myelin loss and repair shows potential for identifying compounds with future potential to treat MS

Oct 03, 2013
Researchers in Cleveland and London, funded by the National MS Society have achieved a new way to visualize and monitor the loss and repair of nerve-insulating myelin over time, creating a non-invasive tool to identify compounds with future potential to treat MS. Their studies used PET (positron emission tomography) imaging in rats as a non-invasive way to detect myelin damage and its subsequent repair by an experimental compound. Yanming Wang, PhD, Chunying Wu, PhD, Robert Miller, PhD, and colleagues at Case Western Reserve University and Imperial College, London, recently reported results in the Annals of Neurology.
Background: In multiple sclerosis, myelin, the fatty substance that surrounds and protects nerve fibers, is attacked and destroyed, leading to many possible neurological symptoms. Several therapies currently under development aim at promoting myelin repair, but there is no established means of observing myelin repair over time in a non-invasive manner. MRI scans are commonly used to image disease activity in the brain, but MRI is not sensitive enough to reveal specific information about myelin damage or repair. Thus, a new imaging technique is crucial for assessing how well new therapies aimed at myelin repair work.
The study: With funding from the

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