At Stanford, the National Stem Cell Foundation is partnering with the National MS Society to support the work of Dr. Marius Wernig and his lab at the Stanford Institute of Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Wernig has discovered a way to turn skin cells directly into the brain cells that make myelin, the insulation around nerve fibers that allows the brain to transmit electrical impulses to the rest of the body. Optimizing this pathway may create a therapy that will halt or reverse the loss of function in patients with diseases that damage myelin or inhibit its production. The most common of the demyelinating diseases is MS, but there are a family of rare, inherited disorders that interfere with myelin production and are fatal in early childhood. Dr. Wernig has successfully “modeled” Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease in the laboratory to speed discovery and advance therapeutic options. See Dr. Wernig’s interview here.
“Stanford stem cell research offers new hope for multiple sclerosis patients”
San Francisco Business Times, April 15, 2013
Dr. Marius Wernig has shown the ability to create new cells from ordinary skin cells that could protect nerve cells damaged in multiple sclerosis and other spinal injuries.