Remyelination in multiple sclerosis: from basic science to clinical translation.

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The treatment of multiple sclerosis has been transformed by the successful development of immunotherapies that efficiently reduce disease activity and related clinical relapses during the relapsing-remitting phase of the disease. However, the prevention of disability progression, which is due to axonal and neuronal damage and loss, has yet to be achieved and is therapeutically challenging, particularly during the progressive phase of the disease. One strategy to counteract neurodegeneration is to promote neuroprotection by enhancing myelin regeneration, hence restoring nerve conduction and metabolic support to the axon. Animal studies have provided targets for interventions to improve brain and spinal cord remyelination, paving the way for the translation of this research to humans. From these initial and promising forays, further problems have emerged, including questions on how best to design these clinical trials and appropriately measure the outcomes. Solving these problems will need additional work before efficacious pro-remyelination therapies will be ready for people with multiple sclerosis, but there is a real sense of hope that researchers are getting closer to a successful therapy.


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