Can we help MSers walk again?

What can we learn from spinal cord injury research to help MSers walk? #MSBlog #MSResearch

“Neurorestoration is the holy grail of MS research. Can we make it a reality? The following TED talk by Grégoire Courtine, a spinal cord injury researcher, is a demonstration of how powerful and plastic the nervous system can be. Can we learn anything from this research and apply it to MS? Possibly. Spinal cord injury is a one off event and is not associated with a progressive neurological disability. However, if we can turn off the autoimmune inflammation can we stimulate the brain and spinal cord to repair itself? I think we are already doing this. MSers with highly-active MS who are fortunate enough to access highly effective therapies that switch off on going inflammation can expect to see some functional recovery. I don’t this is due to the action of the drugs, but rather to the plasticity of the nervous system. The only way to harness this plasticity is to treat MS early and effectively when MSers are active and able to retrain the brains and spinal cord to adapt and recover function.”

“I used to be an avid TEDer, but have found TED talks less inspiring as time has gone by. This particular talk has rekindled my enthusiasm for them. Thank you to one of our readers for pointing this one out to me; it is much appreciated.”

About the author

Prof G

Professor of Neurology, Barts & The London. MS & Preventive Neurology thinker, blogger, runner, vegetable gardener, husband, father, cook and wine & food lover.


  • This is so helpful. I was DX with MS in May 2013 after MRIs showed brain lesions and spinal cord inflammation. I have had some on and off back pain. I find that the more I exercise, the less my back hurts. Have set a goal of taking at least 2700 steps a day at least five days a week, working with a personal trainer once a week…and am working on regular cognitive training with Lumosity. Other cognitive training and fitness training recommendations appreciated.

By Prof G



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