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Jun 2014
Predicting MS in children
Oct 2014
Three new Incubator Grants announced
Dec 2014
2015 Funding announced
Mar 2015
Investigating new treatment options
Oct 2015
Progress in MS Research Conference
Feb 2016
2016 Round of Funding
Feb 2014
New projects being funded
Feb 2014
Breakthrough study shows great promise

Peptide drugs to treat MS

Investigators:
Associate Professor Richard Hughes, University of Melbourne, Victoria
Dr Susan Northfield, University of Melbourne, Victoria
Dr Simon Murray, University of Melbourne, Victoria

Funding:
Incubator Grant - $21,000 over 2016
With full funding support from the Trish Multiple Sclerosis Research Foundation

Summary:

The growth and re-growth of myelin is under the control of many different factors. Associate Professor Hughes and his collaborators including MS Research Australia-funded Dr Simon Murray, are studying the role of the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein in controlling the growth of myelin.

In the brain, BDNF binds to a receptor called TrkB, which is found on myelin-producing oligodendrocytes. Activation of the TrkB receptor via BDNF is crucial for the normal development of myelin in the nervous system. Using BDNF to increase myelin growth in diseases such as MS may have potential for a new treatment strategy. However, the BDNF protein itself is not suitable because it is too large and broken down too quickly in the body.

Associate Professor Hughes and his colleagues have instead developed a protein that mimics the actions of BDNF, called TDP6. Early analysis of TDP6 show promise for increasing myelin growth in cells grown in the laboratory. However, synthesis of TDP6 is time-consuming and low yielding. This incubator grant will enable Associate Professor Hughes and his colleagues to further study TDP6 and related compounds to develop strategies for quick and efficient synthesis of TDP6-related compounds that may be suitable as candidates for further drug development to promote myelin growth in MS.    

Trish Foundation & MS Research Australia Working together to find a cure for MS
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