The Nerves Connecting Eyes to The Brain May Reflect a Recovery from Myelin Loss in MS and Can Be Used as New Treatments for The Disease
Measuring modifications within the speed of electrical signals along nerves connecting the eyes to the brain might accurately reflect a recovery from myelin loss in multiple sclerosis (MS), in accordance with researchers on the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and might be used to evaluate new treatments for the disease.
Most MS patients develop a relapsing-remitting disease by which bouts of numbness, weakness, and vision issues come and go. Over time, a lot of those MS patients develop progressive MS, which simply keeps getting worse because it eats away myelin—the insulating coating on axons, the connections between nerve cells—and subsequently, the axons are damaged.
At the least, there should not go but efficient treatments. Progressive types of MS are drawing the attention of pharmaceutical corporations working to seek out medication that helps restore lost myelin, re-growing the insulation that supports proper nerve signaling, and protects axons.
Unfortunately, confirming the presence of myelin within the central nervous system has required reducing into nerve tissue to take samples. That sort of damaging method confounds makes an attempt to evaluate the effectiveness of new treatments in human patients.
Doctors usually monitor their MS patients with a noninvasive test known as the visual evoked potential or VEP. Flashing a series of lights into the eye prompts a recognizable electrical sign that travels down the optic nerve from the retina. The sign is recorded in brain activity measured with electrodes on the scalp.
The researchers fed cats irradiated food, measuring VEP latency before the diet had demyelinated the cats’ nerves, throughout the cat’s neurologic signs, and after their recovery.