How close are we to discovering stem cell therapies that will be able to reverse demyelination?
Okay. Well, we’re closer, but not really close. Let me explain. We are very close, I think, to having stem cell therapies that can reverse demyelination in the making, that is to protect and prevent demyelination from happening. We have trials ongoing that are looking to proving that kind of effect. In regards to having stem cell treatments that actually reverse long-standing demyelination, that’s a much more difficult undertaking, because there are several processes at play that make it especially difficult to regenerate the myelin sheath once this has been replaced by a process that we call gliosis, that is the replacement of myelin with glial cells. And that is going to be a much more difficult process to reverse and I think will need a few more years before that can actually happen.
Okay. So would you say that it’s easier to, or would potentially be easier to help in an early stage of MS rather than after there’s been…
It definitely is, yes. This is something that we have made a point to ascertain and to prove that this is the case for several therapies, including stem cell therapy.
MS Reporter: Polly
MS Expert: Dr Paolo Muraro sees patients at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust, and his research programme is aimed at understanding and developing effective therapies for multiple sclerosis.