Whats Going Around: Multiple Sclerosis Research

Posted: April 8, 2014 at 12:44 am

By Dr. Kyle Scarborough

Thirteen thousand cyclists will ride to Austin this weekend after raising millions of dollars to fund research into Multiple Sclerosis. The effort is paying off. A decade ago, there was little hope for victims. Now drugs exist that reduce the severity and frequency of relapses, and slow the progression of the disease. The newest drug, Gilenya, is the first oral version of these medications. Several others are in the final stages of testing, and should be available in the next five years.

Genetic research has uncovered several genes that trigger MS. One is associated with low Vitamin D levels.

The disease affects myelin, a conductive sheath around nerve cells. Stem cell researchers are learning how to grow cells that produce myelin, hopefully to someday restore function to damaged nerves.

Thought for the day: Whether you do the research or raise funds as a rider, the outlook for MS is finally getting brighter.

Go online to Lone Star: BP MS 150 and DONATE to support your favorite bicycle riders as they ride to Austin to raise funds for MS research this month. Find them by name. Dr. Scarborough is riding for his eighth year.

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Whats Going Around: Multiple Sclerosis Research

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