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Cell implants reconstruct myelin sheaths

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 23 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1092
  1. Lisa Melton
  1. London

    Scientists have succeeded in remyelinating damaged areas of the central nervous system and restoring lost function by transplanting glial cells directly into the spinal cord of animals.

    This reconstruction feat, until recently thought impossible, raises hopes of finding treatments for diseases with persistent myelin loss, such as multiple sclerosis and the leucodystrophies.

    Bill Blakemore, professor of neuropathology at the University of Cambridge, told neuroscientists at a Novartis Foundation symposium in London last week, that his team had identified the cells with the greatest capacity to make myelin sheaths.

    Grafting cells into lesions to replace the lost function seems to be a safe approach. Clinical experience with transplants …

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