New Directions in MS Research: New Therapeutic Approaches
The term “neuroprotection” refers to strategies designed to prevent irreversible damage from a variety of cell types in the central nervous system (CNS), as well as to promote regeneration after MS-related damage has occurred. These have the goal of preventing the development of disability.
A variety of neuroprotective strategies are now being studied.
- One that seems especially promising is to identify the role that the neurotoxic transmitters glutamate and nitric oxide play in the development of neuronal damage, with the goal of preventing this process.
- At the same time, studies are focusing on stimulating growth factors that promote neural function, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF).
This combination – decreasing factors that cause damage, while at the same time increasing factors that stimulate growth – holds significant potential for preventing MS-related damage and stimulating neuronal function.