There is a new subtype of multiple sclerosis.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is very unpredictable; its symptoms can vary from relatively mild to disabling.
It might also cause a major disruption between the brain and the body. Currently, there is no cure for MS.
The researchers who made the new discovery, from the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, believe that their findings increase scientific understanding of how the underlying mechanisms of MS differ from case to case.
The team has named the new subtype myelocortical MS (MCMS). They write in the journal Lancet Neurology that MCMS is characterized by the death of the brain’s nerve cells, but without any damage to the protective coating of the neurons, which is a traditional hallmark of MS.
Typically in MS, immune cells destroy this fatty protective substance known as myelin in a process known as demyelination. Previously, scientists had assumed that demyelination is what ultimately leads to the death of neurons in MS.
It is the death of neurons that causes irreversible disability in people with MS, so understanding why neurons die is key to identifying new treatment targets for the disease.
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