Study: Remyelination candidates target cholesterol-producing enzymes

July 27, 2018
New research offers insight into how drugs can repair damaged brain cells that cause disability in patients with multiple sclerosis. The study suggests a target for new drugs that may lead to myelin regeneration treatments for people with MS.

In the current study, researchers at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine demonstrated that miconazole enhanced myelin formation by inhibiting an enzyme used by brain stem cells to produce cholesterol. Subsequent experiments identified more than 20 new drugs that enhance myelin formation by inhibiting closely-related cholesterol-producing enzymes. Drugs identified previously by labs across the world as enhancing new myelin were also found to inhibit these same enzymes.

Results of mouse model studies sometimes do not translate to humans. Clinical candidates based on this work are not expected to enter clinical trials until 2019. However, the authors said the new understanding of myelin repair provides a promising new path toward novel, regenerative MS treatments.

The findings were published in the journal Nature.

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