By Dr. Brian McDonough

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Multiple sclerosis is a progressive neurologic disease that is recognized by flares and periods of breaks from damage to the nervous system.

Research is being done trying to get a greater understanding of why it occurs. A report in the journal Nature Medicine says that the regulation of a chemical called the death receptor 6 (dr6), in the brain could be slowing down brain repair in patients with multiple sclerosis.

In multiple sclerosis, patients exhibit massive demyelination – where the protective layer on axons is damaged. The researchers believe that dr6 seems to act by killing off immature oligodendrocytes – support cells in the brain – that could otherwise repair the damaged myelin. The hope is that by understanding this path it could help with treatments.

Reported By Dr. Brian McDonough, KYW Newsradio Medical Editor

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