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Calling for help: damaged nerve cells communicate with stem cells

last modified May 25, 2016 10:31 AM
Nerve cells damaged in diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), ‘talk’ to stem cells in the same way that they communicate with other nerve cells, calling out for ‘first aid’, according to new research from the University of Cambridge.

The study, published today in the journal Nature Communications, may have significant implications for the development of future medicines for disorders that affect myelin sheath, the insulation that protects and insulates our nerve cells.

For our brain and central nervous system to work, electrical signals must travel quickly along nerve fibres. This is achieved by insulating the nerve fibres with a fatty substance called myelin. In diseases such as MS, the myelin sheath around nerve fibres is lost or damaged, causing physical and mental disability. Read more..