Study finds age-related MS effects may be reversible


January 9, 2012

If you notice any of these signs, it's time to talk with your loved one's doctor.A study conducted by researchers from the Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard University and the University of Cambridge discovered that scienctists may be able to reverse the age-related impairment of the body's ability to replace protective myelin sheaths, which protects nerve fibers.

This finding could help those who have multiple sclerosis (MS), as this possible therapy will be able to halt the breakdown of the sheaths. The researchers created a small among of myelin loss in a mouse, and then by exposing the mouse to a younger mouse's blood, new immune cells rejuvenated.

"For MS sufferers, this means that, in theory, regenerative therapies will work throughout the duration of the disease," said study author Dr. Amy Wagers. "Specifically, it means that remyelination therapies do not need to be based on stem cell transplantation since the stem cells already present in the brain and spinal cord can be made to regenerate myelin, regardless of a person's age."

Seniors who suffer from MS are at a greater risk of falling. Those who live by themselves may want to purchase a medical alert system, which allows the person to contact emergency services in the event of a fall.