UF Researchers Find Unique Gene Therapy Prevents and Reverses Multiple Sclerosis in an Animal Model

Researchers at the University of Florida have developed a new therapy that they hope can lead the cure for MS. The process uses a gene therapy, which the researchers have been testing on mice. According to the researchers, between 71 percent and 81 percent of the mice had a near-complete remission of the disease when this treatment was used.

The therapy suppresses the immune response that causes the disease, using a gene in the brain protein and a drug used in organ transplant recipients. The process involves injecting a protein from the brain into the liver, causing a near-complete remission of the disease in mice even 7 months after the treatment.

Multiple Sclerosis is an incurable neurological disease that affects about 2.3 million people worldwide. The immune system causes nerve fibers to misfire, causing muscle weakness and problems with vision, speech and muscle coordination.

Researchers hope the clinical trials to start in three to five years. If that goes well, the treatment could go to the market in 10 years’ time.