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Drugs that activate brain stem cells may reverse multiple sclerosis

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posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 06:00 PM

Led by researchers at Case Western Reserve, a multi-institutional team used a new discovery approach to identify drugs that could activate mouse and human brain stem cells in the laboratory. The two most potent drugs - one that currently treats athlete's foot, and the other, eczema - were capable of stimulating the regeneration of damaged brain cells and reversing paralysis when administered systemically to animal models of multiple sclerosis. The results are published online Monday, April 20, in the scientific journal Nature.


Tesar Laboratory

This is pretty fascinating. Scientists have found a way to activate the stem cells within our own bodies to help fight disease and regenerate damaged tissue without surgery. This new therapy hopes to reverse the crippling effects of MS and many other degenerative nerve diseases quickly and effectively.

The findings mark the most promising developments to date in efforts to help the millions of people around the world who suffer from multiple sclerosis. The disease is the most common chronic neurological disorder among young adults, and results from aberrant immune cells destroying the protective coating, called myelin, around nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.

Conventional stem cell therapies involve whole tissue transplants into the damaged area which can limit the patients success after an operation. The procedure still provides amazing benefits, but leaves many areas of the body inoperable. The team wanted to find a faster and less invasive approach to activate and direct stem cells already within the body.

Using a state-of-the-art imaging microscope, the investigators quantified the effects of 727 previously known drugs, all of which have a history of use in patients, on OPC in the laboratory. The most promising medications fell into two specific chemical classes. From there, the researchers found that miconazole and clobetasol performed best within the respective classes. Miconazole is found in an array of over-the-counter antifungal lotions and powders, including those to treat athlete's foot. Clobetasol, meanwhile, is typically available by prescription to treat scalp and other skin conditions such as dermatitis. Neither had been previously considered as a therapeutic for multiple sclerosis, but testing revealed each had an ability to stimulate OPCs to form new myelinating cells. When administered systemically to lab mice afflicted with a multiple sclerosis-like disease, both drugs prompted native OPCs to regenerate new myelin.

A previous study in 2011 had narrowed the search for a compound that would activate the newly created stem cells. Their next step is to develop an internal version of the medication that is normally used topically.

"We have pioneered technologies that enable us to generate both mouse and human OPCs in our laboratory," said Fadi Najm, MBA, the first author of the study and Research Scientist in the Department of Genetics & Genome Sciences at the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. "This uniquely positioned us to test if these drugs could also stimulate human OPCs to generate new myelinating cells."

Long term benefits and potential side effects must be studied before clinical trials can begin. With most of the components already FDA approved and the positive results shown on human tissue, it shouldn't take long before a treatment will be available.

edit on 20-4-2015 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 06:40 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

Great news.

Too bad the FDA makes new chemicals so difficult to try out.

That said, using existing, federally approved drugs enhances the likelihood that the compounds can be made safe for human use.

It takes 10 years to get a new drug past the FDA.

The stem cell transplants would be necessary to grow new neurons, although new myelination is really great too.

posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 07:10 PM
Ithink the biggest part of this story is that it was an anti fungal that had the biggest effect. Would that not mean it could be a fungal problem more than anything and the symptoms are looked at more than the cause of this disease. Good find hope there is more to hear on this in the future.

posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 07:38 PM
a reply to: Semicollegiate

Miconazole is found in an array of over-the-counter antifungal lotions and powders, including those to treat athlete's foot. Clobetasol, meanwhile, is typically available by prescription to treat scalp and other skin conditions such as dermatitis.

These products have already been approved safe to use, but when you isolate an ingredient it suddenly becomes dangerous when it has the potential to help mankind. Those chemicals have been FDA approved for over a decade and there's no reason it should take that long.

posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 08:06 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

I don't know how fast your internet connection is, but the FDA could be replaced by a private testing and rating industry.

Robert Higgs PhD first explains the short comings of the FDA, which is most of the video, and then presents a few free market testing and rating agencies that are working for various companies already.

For example, The FDA has a bias to fail products because if they approve something ineffectual or harmful they suffer blame that hurts their career, but if something works fine they get no resulting benefit. Or nothing as good as career blighting is bad.

A private product testing and verification outline

For 45 years, ECRI Institute, a nonprofit organization, has been dedicated to bringing the discipline of applied scientific research to discover which medical procedures, devices, drugs, and
processes are best, all to enable you to improve patient care.

TUV is a European testing company


I think I heard that there are neuronal stem cells in the adult brain. I guess when stem cells can be made in vivo, we can all live forever.

edit on 20-4-2015 by Semicollegiate because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 20 2015 @ 11:02 PM
Every fat cell has an available stem cell in it. That is why we have a little fat under our skin. When we get cut, a chemical like hydrogen peroxide is created by the body which causes the stem cell to be releases and it repairs the skin. The skin itself has some stem cells also. Hydrogen peroxide can actually help a cut heal faster. Chitosin can help a cut heal faster also. I never did find how that worked though, only that it does speed up healing.

Now I am sure the brain has some extra stem cells hanging around in our fat heads.

So, things that can help protect the skin can help with triggering the brain to heal. Sounds sort of like a specialized histamine reaction is happening yet neither of the two drugs is listed as a histamine. Maybe it is actually the adjuvant action of these meds. They have a chloride ion that is active. Maybe we are consuming an imbalance of sodium to chloride. We need about three times as much chloride as sodium for our cells to work properly. Prepared Food has a lot of extra sodium compounds in them, but not the chloride. Chloride is what we associate with the taste or craving for salt. Sodium tastes kind of blah.
edit on 20-4-2015 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)

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