The Future of Multiple Sclerosis Research and Treatments
Targets for multiple sclerosis (MS) treatments include the many components and functions of the immune system response. In general, treatments have been developed to block, reduce, or deplete those cells and other agents that promote inflammation and/or damage to the central nervous system (CNS).
Interrupting this chain of events also includes preventing the damaging cells from entering the CNS through the blood-brain barrier (BBB). Researchers approach this by developing methods to limit the number of immune-system cells circulating in the blood system, so they do not cross the BBB. Another approach is to interfere with the process that allows these immune-system cells to pass through to the CNS.
In addition to the treatments that are FDA-approved or in development to limit or slow the MS process, treatments are also being developed for neuroprotection and remyelination. Such strategies would protect the axons and myelin from further damage, and through repair of the myelin, could potentially return lost function for individuals with MS. The future looks bright as science continues to uncover more vital clues about the immune system and MS.
Read MS Research Update 2015.