A new type of cells, that share 122 genes like those of neural stem cells, has been found and right now the focus is on what this could mean for those who have spinal cord injuries and some neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS).
The researchers at the University of British Columbia, the Allen Institute for Brain Science and The Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital at McGill University were the ones who discovered these cells and it means the world to Lima’s Janine Roughy.
“It feels as if there is this acceleration happening with regards to stem cells and MS and I know Richard is going to go through the roof, he is going to be so happy to hear it,” she told us.
For too many years, researchers have spent hours trying to find a way to produce myelin, a coating of fibers around nerves in the brain, in the hopes of reversing the damaged caused by multiple sclerosis (MS).
The function of myelin is to insulate nerves in the brain, helping the speed at which the brain functions and MS is a disease that eats away at the myelin, causing the nerve to malfunction, thereby producing the symptoms seen in those who have it. This find is certainly going to add to the excitement that has already been seen.
For many a year, research has shown the central nervous system (CNS) of not being able to repair itself, because cells that are used to create it, are ‘exhausted’ during the development of it.
These newly found ‘stem cell-like’ cells are now thought useable in that they can activate a reconstruction of the damaged areas in the spinal cord.
“By using the Allen Spinal Cord Atlas, we were able to discover a brand new cell type that has previously been overlooked and that could be an important player in all manner of spinal cord injury and disease, including multiple sclerosis and ALS,” said Jane Roskams, Ph.D., neuroscientist at the University of British Columbia and senior author of the study.
It has certainly been the year for truly amazing out-of-this-world findings regarding stem cells; and to combine this with current happenings, thousands the world over are finding an awakening hope.
Sources: Audrey Petit, Ashley D. Sanders, Timothy E. Kennedy, Wolfram Tetzlaff, Katie J. Glattfelder, Rachel A. Dalley, Ralph B. Puchalski, Allan R. Jones, A. Jane Roskams. Adult Spinal Cord Radial Glia Display a Unique Progenitor Phenotype. PLoS ONE, 2011; 6 (9): e24538 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024538; http://www.alleninstitute.org; http://nhnscr.org
For more information about myelin please see:
The Myelin Project can be reached for more information at: Myelin.Org/Contact.
Myelin Repair Foundation can be reached at: MyelinRepair.Org/Contact
For local information: for those who live in Lima, Ohio, the Northwestern Ohio MS Chapter can be reached at: 401 Tomahawk Drive, Maumee, OH at (419) 897-7263. They are located approximately an hour and a half from Lima, Ohio and 45 minutes from Findlay, Ohio. For directions please click here at Bing Maps.
Further interesting reading:
Demyelination may be “bystander” effect in multiple sclerosis (video)