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Monday, November 4, 2013

If successful, a new remyelinating antibody called rHIgM22 may help reverse nerve damage caused by MS.

September 2013
In a collaboration between the Mayo Clinic and Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., a “first-in-human” trial of the drug rHIgM22to repair nerve damage caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) is currently recruiting volunteers.
Earlier animal studies of rHIgM22 showed improvements in motor activity, meaning a possible reversal of disability. If successful, this could be a groundbreaking achievement, particularly for those with progressive forms of MS, for which there are no treatments currently available.

How the Drug Works

In MS, the immune system targets myelin, the fatty covering that insulates nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, and destroys it. The body’s imperfect attempt to repair the damage leaves scar tissue, or “plaques,” in place of myelin. These plaques are less effective at transmitting signals between nerves, sometimes halting the signals altogether. When signals from the brain to the rest of the body are interrupted, disability results.
People with MS experience symptoms that, depending on the size, location, and number of plaques in their brain or spinal cord, can range from numbness and tingling to complete paralysis or blindness.
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