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  • Research?

    A Facebook link regarding MS today caused me to articulate something that has been on my mind for some time. About every six months we hear that someone has made great progress in curing MS in mice. The question that I have is simple. If we still don't what causes MS how then are the researchers able to "give" the mice MS? I once heard a researcher use the phrase "MS like symptoms". That is still not MS. Is this being done to give us with this nasty disease hope or to insure the continued flow of research dollars?

  • #2
    Haha, good question! I don't know how they give mice MS - make their immune systems super aggressive/ break down their blood brain barriers?

    Anyway I guess all research is done this way.. example-they give mice cancer and see what fixes it?


    • #3
      Research EAE. It's not quite MS, but it's the closest thing researchers have. Which is one reason why mice testing often doesn't translate to humans with MS.
      Dave Bexfield


      • #4
        As Dave says, it is not MS, because we don't know of any other animals that get MS, but we can induce similar demyeliniating conditions, which is our best bet for testing early medication. The biggest use in my mind of this is in testing treatments that are aimed towards repair, like the one the Tisch Center is currently doing. They've shown in animal models that myelin damage can be repaired by their method. Now it is on to check that people react the same, so fingers crossed I can imagine that meds reducing relapses sometimes do different stuff with the MS-like condition that mice and sheep can get and with actual MS. Animal testing is not always ideal, but it the best solution that we have right now, and it has been a vital part in pretty much every modern medication. Go science


        • #5
          Thank you for the thoughtful replies. These help me understand.