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February 22, 2019: At Journal Club, our experts sat down to discuss a paper that assessed the dynamics of oligodendrocyte generation in patients with multiple sclerosis.
Yeung et al 2019 - Dynamics of oligodendrocyte generation in multiple sclerosis
Oligodendrocytes are the myelinating cells of the central nervous system. This research group investigated the dynamics of oligodendrocyte generation in MS patients by utilizing carbon-dating technology. They found that oligodendrocyte generation is increased in normal appearing white matter in several patients with aggressive MS, but was unaltered in the majority of patients. This suggests that while there is an innate potential to increase oligodendrocyte populations within the human brain in response to MS-induced damage, this mechanism may be inhibited in most individuals with aggressive disease. Furthermore, the researchers found a failure to increase oligodendrocyte generation within focal lesions of the brain. This work indicates that therapeutic interventions targeted at inhibiting oligodendrocyte destruction may be critical to successful remyelination, remission, and recovery.