Maligned molecule found to have beneficial anti-inflammatory effect
A molecule that causes Alzheimer’s disease could reverse paralysis caused by multiple sclerosis (MS), a study has found.
The much-maligned molecule, known as A-beta, has until now been known as the chief culprit behind Alzheimer’s.
But it is also found in multiple-sclerosis lesions, which occur when immune cells invade the brain and spinal cord and attack the insulating coatings of nerve cells.
The nerve signals then get mixed up leading to blindness, loss of muscle control and difficulties with speech, thought and attention.
Scientists from Stanford University in the United States wanted to investigate the role the molecule played in MS.
They used a mouse model that mimics several features of the disease – including the autoimmune attack on myelinated sections of the brain. They then injected A-beta into the rodent’s belly.
The scientists had suspected the injection would exacerbate the MS, but the opposite happened.