Multiple Sclerosis: What are astrocytes? Cell now KEY to brain inflammation

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Multiple Sclerosis: What are astrocytes? Cell now KEY to brain inflammation

A type of cell called an astrocyte plays a role in multiple sclerosis.

MULTIPLE Sclerosis is a devastating neurological disease, which comes with a host of debilitating symptoms and can ruin people’s chances at a good quality of life. A new study has confirmed the presence of a specific cell which could change the way the disease is treated.

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) can be an extremely difficult disease to deal with, as the life long disorder can cause serious disability.

The disease is the result of damage to the brain or spinal chord, which can leave people with vision problems, problem controlling their bodies, and a reduced life expectancy.

While symptoms often range from mild to severe, it is possible to treat, however no cure exists yet.

A recent study has now revealed a new type of brain cell could be key to understanding the course of the disease, and paves the way for a completely new treatment.

What are astrocytes?

Astrocytes are star-shaped ‘glial’ cells present in the nervous system, responsible for providing support and protection for neurons.

Neurons carry electrical impulses through the brain, and are responsible for transmitting signals through gaps between them named synapses, connecting the entire body.

As such, astrocytes play an important part in maintaining the brain and body, but scientists have been investigating whether they are also a factor in harming vital brain function.

The latest research suggests they may also be involved in promoting disease.

Read on: Multiple Sclerosis: What are astrocytes? Cell now KEY to brain inflammation

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