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CHALLENGE

Can the damage caused by multiple sclerosis be reversed? Affecting more than 2.3 million people worldwide, multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease in which the immune system attacks the central nervous system, breaking down the protective cover coating the axons of nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. Those suffering from MS experience a wide range of physical symptoms including weakness or numbness in the arms and legs, slurred speech, and loss of vision. Though estrogen treatments have been effective in preventing onset of permanent disability, the hormone may increase risk of breast and uterine cancers in women and its feminizing effects are undesirable for men.

SOLUTION

After testing different chemicals that mimic estrogen, biomedical scientist Seema

H E A L T H

Tiwari-Woodruff found one successful in fighting the disease without the negative side effects. The drug compound indazole chloride diminishes inflammation that accompanies MS flare-ups and stimulates regeneration of the myelin sheath – the nerve pathway coating that is progressively destroyed as MS attacks the nervous system. Focused on finding a cure for MS, this research also provides hope for treating traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries and some stroke patients.

Seema Tiwari-Woodruff

Associate Professor, Biomedical Sciences School of Medicine

Living the Promise: 2015 Research Impacts  

Can the damage caused by multiple sclerosis be reversed? Are there better ways to treat hearing loss? Does better sleep improve your memory?...