Researchers from NUI Galway are to investigate the processes behind the creation and loss of myelin in the brain
MS Ireland is set to fund a new three-year research project. Dr Una FitzGerald and her team in National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway will explore the remyelination and demyelination process in the brain. They will model the effects of MS on the human brain using cultures of rat brain slices. Adding chemicals to the cultures means the tissue can be forced to lose myelin and then examined in detail as new myelin is laid down.
Dr FitzGerald explains: “Specifically we will look at how molecules associated with a particular kind of cellular stress, ‘endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress’, may affect how well brain slices recover from myelin loss. In the past, we discovered that ER stress-signalling proteins are present at raised levels in active MS lesions found in post-mortem human tissue samples.”
MS Ireland submitted these projects to the MRCG/HRB Funding Scheme for co-funding (The MRCG is the Medical Research Charities Group and the HRB is the Health Research Board). The project will begin in October and MS Ireland will update readers as it progresses.
MS Ireland would like to thank the MRCG and the HRB for co-funding the project. We would also like to thank the Cavan Branch of MS Ireland who has also supported the project. We hope they will be one of many voluntary Branches to support our research work in the coming months.