It is estimated that more than two million people are affected by the dilapidating disease multiple sclerosis, also known as MS. Multiple sclerosis affects the brain’s and spinal cord’s nerve cells. Symptoms of the condition often include double vision, blindness, psychological issues, or muscle issues. There are also cases when MS is fatal and life expectancy is shorter. There is medication available to alleviate symptoms, however, there’s no cure for the disease, at least until now. Anyhow, a UK scientist has made a major medical breakthrough in finding a cure for the disease.
Dr. Su Metcalfe, from Cambridge based company LIFNano Therapeutics, has found a way to halt the attack on the nerve cells. Speaking to the Cambridge News, she said:
Some people get progressive MS, so go straight to the severe form of the disease, but the majority have a relapsing or remitting version.
It can start from the age of 30, and there’s no cure, so all you can do is suppress the immune response, but the drugs that do that have side effects, and you can’t repair the brain.
The cost of those drugs is very high, and in the UK there are a lot of people who don’t get treated at all.
Talking about her breakthrough discovery, she said:
I was looking to see what controls the immune response and stops it auto-attacking us. I discovered a small binary switch, controlled by a LIF, which regulates inside the immune cell itself. LIF is able to control the cell to ensure it doesn’t attack your own body but then releases the attack when needed.
She went on to say:
That LIF, in addition to regulating and protecting us against attack, also plays a major role in keeping the brain and spinal cord healthy. In fact it plays a major role in tissue repair generally, turning on stem cells that are naturally occurring in the body, making it a natural regenerative medicine, but also plays a big part in repairing the brain when it’s been damaged.
Dr. Su also added:
So I thought, this is fantastic. We can treat auto-immune disease, and we’ve got something to treat MS, which attacks both the brain and the spinal cord. So you have a double whammy that can stop and reverse the auto-immunity, and also repair the damage caused in the brain.
The very talented doctor who is also working on finding cures about Psoriasis and diabetes hopes that there will be enough funding for her and her team to find a potential cure for MS by 2020.
Celebrating women entrepreneurs on #IWD2018 – Dr Su Metcalfe, Founding Director of LIFNano Therapeutics, shares her journey from scientist to entrepreneur. Su has been supported by @CamSocVent and Accelerate Cambridge @CambridgeJBS. Read more https://t.co/F37J16zifr pic.twitter.com/zDCyDcMduu
— CJBSEntrepreneurship (@CJBS_EC) March 8, 2018
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