Researchers in Italy have successfully repaired nerve damage in mice with Multiple Sclerosis like illness. Though studies have a long way to go, the results have thrown open a big door to MS research.
The study is significant since not only was damaged tissue repaired, but the mice also appeared to recover from their MS-like illness. Though stem cell research is still controversial, this is a big step in the search to find ways to repair damaged nerve tissue.
A team from San Raffaele hospital in Italy injected immature mouse adult stem cells into the blood or brain cavities of mice. Those cells moved into affected areas and promoted the repair of damaged nerve insulation called Myelin and appeared to reverse the effects of the MS itself.
But MS researchers warn what happened in mice may not happen in humans. There's also a problem sometimes identifying stem cells that the body's immune system will not reject. Scientists in this country say more studies are needed to confirm the findings from Italy.
The Italian team and others have been investigating for some time, now how immature stem cells have the ability to develop into various types of brain cells, including nerve and the Myelin making cells.