Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Understanding The Nervous System To Improve Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis

Date:
November 7, 2007
Source:
Rutgers University
Summary:
Uncover the neural communication links involved in myelination, the process of protecting a nerve's axon, and it may become possible to reverse the breakdown of the nervous system's electrical transmissions in such disorders as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and diabetes.

Uncover the neural communication links involved in myelination, the process of protecting a nerve’s axon, and it may become possible to reverse the breakdown of the nervous system’s electrical transmissions in such disorders as multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries, diabetes and cancers of the nervous system.

Related Articles


With $697,065 in grants from the New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Injury and the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research, Haesun Kim of Teaneck, NJ, assistant professor of biological sciences at Rutgers University in Newark, is working on gaining a better understanding of those links.

Specifically, her work focuses on Schwann cells within the peripheral nervous system and their communication links with the axons they myelinate by enwrapping them in myelin. Axons are the long fibrous part of neurons that carry the nerve’s electrical signals. A fatty substance, myelin covers those axons both to protect them and to provide a conduit for the fast conduction of electrical signals within the nervous system. Once that myelin is lost,the electrical signal breaks down and eventually the neuron dies – like a cell phone that loses its signal.

Determining how Schwann cells and axons communicate with one another could lead to an understanding of how to promote remyelination, the rebuilding of myelin, and restoration of that signal. One unique aspect of the communication link between Schwann cells and axons is that they are mutually dependent upon that connection for their existence.

“When Schwann cells are generated during development, axons send out signals to the Schwann cells and tell them, ‘You are going to become myelin cells and you are going to myelinate me,’” explains Kim. “The Schwann cells in turn guide the axons to where they need to go and direct the axons to grow.”

By pinpointing the sequence and nuances of the communication links involved in myelination, targeted genetic and pharmacological interventions possibly could be developed to restore the loss of myelin. Such an understanding additionally may allow for the effective transplanting of Schwann cells in the central nervous system to promote remyelination and the correction of neurological disorders at that level.

The New Jersey Commission on Spinal Cord Injury has provided $397,066 and the New Jersey Commission on Brain Injury Research $299,999 to support Kim’s research.

Kim received her M.S. in biology from the University of Toledo, her Ph.D. in cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy from the University of Cincinnati, and performed her post-doctoral work at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute at Harvard Medical School. She joined the Rutgers-Newark faculty in 2004.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Rutgers University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Rutgers University. "Understanding The Nervous System To Improve Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 November 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106164735.htm>.
Rutgers University. (2007, November 7). Understanding The Nervous System To Improve Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106164735.htm
Rutgers University. "Understanding The Nervous System To Improve Treatment For Multiple Sclerosis." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071106164735.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins