Recent achievements in stem cell-mediated myelin repair

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Following the establishment of a number of successful immunomodulatory treatments for multiple sclerosis, current research focuses on the repair of existing damage.

Recent findings

Promotion of regeneration is particularly important for demyelinated areas with degenerated or functionally impaired axons of the central nervous system's white and gray matter. As the protection and generation of new oligodendrocytes is a key to the re-establishment of functional connections, adult oligodendrogenesis and myelin reconstitution processes are of primary interest. Moreover, understanding, supporting and promoting endogenous repair activities such as mediated by resident oligodendroglial precursor or adult neural stem cells are currently thought to be a promising approach toward the development of novel regenerative therapies.

Summary

This review summarizes recent developments and findings related to pharmacological myelin repair as well as to the modulation/application of stem cells with the aim to restore defective myelin sheaths.

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