MS life 2014 Myelin Repair-using stem cells from within

Today we have Dr Franklinstein talking about Myelin Repair

One approach is to make stem cells that are present in the MS actually work properly as discussed by Prof Robin Franklin from Cambridge. 

Tomorrow we can hear another approach using stem cells 

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  • Interesting work, Vicky and I saw this talk at Murray Edwards College Cambridge earlier this year. Only dissapointing aspect is waiting for drugs to be developed instead of having the surgical route.
    Regards as always.

  • Why have you made reference to the fictional creation of Mary Shelley to what is essentially one of your colleagues?

    To ms patients you're all men in white coats researching stuff going on in our brains. Even if you consider you're working on very different things, all of it happens in our heads.

    Could you explain if you have any issues, please?

    I listened to Giovannoni's mslife talk yesterday where he appeared to be questioning the worth of repairing brains while there's still active disease.

    Increases in myelin could deliver a lessening of accumulated disability, couldn't it?

    • The Franklinstein comes from some work he did on heterochronic parabiosis where the circulatory systems of old and young mice are surgically fused.
      Just a little joke!
      As to repairing brains, there will be much more chance of success if the active disease can be shut down as the inflammation could interfere with this process.

    • My sense of humour has been getting me, or should I say my alter Ego, in trouble recently.. I apologise for that…

      Some of my posts and comments are cryptic, often too cryptic……Some are meant to be…unfortunately some get misunderstood and cause offense and if I over stepped the mark with my bad judgement. they can be inapprorpriate.Sorry again.

      However, it gives me entertainment and creates a bit of levity I think, which helps spending my nights doing the posts and comments a bit more interesting. If there can be no fun or interest then it becomes a it worth doing?

      Some of this humour evolves over time and for those new to the blog…you may not get it….

      What is mushroom food?
      What is IG11?
      What is RM10?

      Read the comments

      As to the Franklinstein link, as MD2 says is was a joke,

      As you may know many people get their own characters (especially in the advent calenders. Like Sir Jeremy (Chataway) one of the White Knights (, it was used in the programme for the research day because he didn't supply a picture see videos on progression in 4th research day

      If you look at the advent calendar you will see a homage to Robin Franklin (we have
      we have grants together) and he is at the forefront of the UK effort with Prof Charles ffffffrench constant in myelin repair…along with a few others too.

      Check out his Advent calendar thisshould explain the Franklinstein The Franklinstein relates to sewing mice together for an experiment on aging.

      We ran a few pieces on this whether you thought it was ethical (e.g. to attract a bully to its whippingboy) to do this. Check out the links in the advent calendar.

      No offense is intended and we all take abuse some more than others.

      However for any Scientist out there who is personally offended by my bad behaviour I say.
      "Grow up and get a personality"….only joking actually let me know and I will remove the offending piece(s) and try modify my behaviour maybe create a new alter ego.

      Please do not start posting offensive comments in response. I have been called a number of things over the years. I will not engage and your comment may not be posted.

      Maybe I should stop doing this, maybe I have too(wrist smacked), However, but it will take too long to remove all the gems that litter the blog.

      What's an amphioxus?

    • No no don't stop

      Franklinstein is good, ffffffffffffrench constant even better (no offence and not his fault, but what a name! )

  • I attended the talk Franklin gave last month with Andy and Vicky. I think the problem i have with both areas of research (which are both interesting and potentially worthwhile) is that it's going to make no difference to my day to day wellbeing.

    there seems to be an absence of research that can benefit patients today or tomorrow.

    I'm not for one minute saying research that will bring benefits in 10+ years time shouldn't be done but I would like to get some neurology looking into what might encourage or dampen actions going on in my head right now.

    I've been reading lots about the effects of surges in blood sugar has on the brain. Are there investigations into this, Might there be overlap in brain degeneration with dementia brought on by type II diabetes?

    A functional neurologist? does that work as a legitimate area of research if not, why not?

  • MS Life is a stuck record: Same faces, saying the same things, year after year, same differences. Nothing alters on the ground floor. No wonder MSers are losing faith in the system.

    • Well as I attended on the Meet the Scientists stand, I can only say that all the MSers I spoke to over the 2 days (and there were lots) seemed to find it a positive experience and the same can be said for the Meet the Scientists team.

    • Anon 11:41 don't be so negative – you're not helping anyone.

      Perhaps it's late for some of us but that doesn't mean that we must spoil it for others.

    • We (MD2) have been to every MS life and in this time

      I am not sure I heard many neuros saying the "c" word at MS life a few years ago, but what did ProfG say today.

      Can't remember talks on actual studies on repair with known targets and progression being a reality rather than a distant, future pipe dream.

      I know it is all too slow for everyone, but unless you change the system, this is the pace of progress.

    • I have had this damn disease for 23 years and have heard many discussions about the wonders of this or that drug. My maternal grandfather did research in MS 100 years ago and scant progress has been made since. I do not believe that a silver bullet is forthcoming and frankly, do not intend to deteriorate further. Ado.

  • Really interested in Robin Franklin's talk and the trial re bexarotene, so I looked it up. It's an anti cancer drug and so has immunosuppressive abilities also. Does this mean that it could stop inflammation and promote remyelination at the same time? I presume it will be given in much smaller doses than it's anti cancer dosage (like alemtuzumab) and so may not have quite the same large number of side effects it shows on wikipedia. Even with its side effects, if it works, it would be wonderful for those needing remyelination therapy asap. That's why we need the ability to re purpose drugs more quickly. An RX gamma drug would be great, but it could take 25 years to get one and get it to market

    • Does this mean that it could stop inflammation and promote remyelination at the same time?

      Yes quite possibly, there is clear data that shows that RXR can affect immune function as well as being a candidate for repair. The potential problems for some of these drugs is that they are affecting common pathways used by many different cells, so they may have side-effect issues. However do we need to give the drugs for ever or just a pulse therapy to cause immature oligodendrocytes to grow up.

      To answer another point what ProfG is saying is too things (a) If you treat early enough the bodies natural repair mechanisms may be enough to repair without needing drugs (b) Just promoting repair alone will not be enough you need to keep the nerves alive you need to quell the inflammation etc. So a polypill will most likely be needed.

      If you put wood on a smoldering fire what happens?

    • "An RXR drug would be great…and take 25 years"…a number of companies have these agents.already. A positive trial result will get them interested.

  • Thanks for this, I wasn't able to see the talks at MS Life but will probably watch them online. Re comments above about Dr Frankelstein etc: please retain your sense of humour, yes, we all need some levity in our lives… especially if you're poring over the blog in the wee hours! 🙂



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