BOB HIRSHON (host):
Could stem cells stop MS? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.
In multiple sclerosis the immune system attacks nerve cells, damaging their protective coating, called myelin. Today, in the journal Stem Cell Reports, University of Utah researchers Tom Lane and Lu Chen, and Jeanne Loring at Scripps Research Institute, report that human neural stem cells injected into mice with an MS-like condition repair the damaged nerves, and stop the immune system’s attack. Lab mice receiving the stem cells were able to walk and move normally.
TOM LANE (University of Utah):
We actually initiated this experiment without any idea that there would be any recovery in the animals. We were focusing on a completely separate topic. And lo and behold within a couple of weeks we started seeing improvement in motor skills that was dramatic.
Lane says they’ll now try the therapy in other animal models, and look for chemical factors that lead to the improvements. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.