Development of a new drug
to overcome progressive
The Trish Foundation has partnered with MS Research Australia to fully fund some additional research of Dr Steven Petratos from Monash University. Dr Petratos has been awarded a one year Project Grant to test a drug that could stop and potentially reverse progressive MS. Dr Petratos’ Co-investigator is Dr Kaylene Young from the Menzies Institute for Medical Research at the University of Tasmania.
Myelin is the protective coating around nerve fibres in the brain and spinal cord. In MS, the immune system mistakenly attacks the myelin. In progressive MS, there is a gradual increase in disability without periods of remission. This gradual loss of myelin may be the cause of progressive MS.
In previous studies, it was found that the molecule called MCT8 is lacking in some people with MS. This molecule is found in the cells that make myelin, called oligodendrocytes. Without sufficient amounts of MCT8, the oligodendrocytes die and do not produce myelin.
In this project, Dr Petratos and his team will perform some pre-clinical studies to determine if a potential therapeutic is able to stop and potentially reverse the loss of myelin in the brain. This therapy may allow the oligodendrocytes to survive and produce myelin, allowing the body to repair itself. This research may lead to a new therapeutic option for people with progressive MS.