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Antibody May Help Heal MS Nerve Damage

Antibody Treatment Shows Promise in Preliminary Lab Tests on Mice
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Oct. 9, 2007 -- Scientists may have found a way to reverse some nerve damage from multiple sclerosis -- a discovery that may lead to new treatments for MS.

Researchers today reported that they've successfully used an antibody to restore nerves' fatty sheath (called myelin) that had been ravaged by MS in mice.

The scientists, who work at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., haven't tried that technique yet in people.

The Mayo Clinic's Arthur Warrington, PhD, and colleagues tested a lab-made antibody called rHIgM22.

They injected the antibody into mice with an MS-like condition that destroyed the mice's myelin.

A single dose of the antibody helped repair the mice's myelin within five weeks.

The "stage is set" for myelin repair, but MS prevents that repair from happening, write Warrington and colleagues. They suggest that rHIgM22 antibody treatment might allow that repair to take place.

The findings were presented today in Washington at the American Neurological Association's annual meeting.

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