Scientists have discovered a way to convert ordinary skin cells into myelinating cells, or brain cells that have been destroyed in patients with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and other myelin disorders.
The research published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, may now enable
on demand production of myelinating cells, which insulate and protect neurons to facilitate the delivery of brain impulses to the rest of the body.
The latest discovery is important because myelinating cells are destroyed and cannot be replaced in patients with multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and rare genetic disorders called leukodystrophies.
Scientists explain that the new technique involves directly converting fibroblasts, a very common structural cell present in the skin and most organs into oligodendrocytes, the type of cell responsible for producing myelin, the fatty insulation necessary to allow neurons to communicate with one another — via redwolf.newsvine.com