Research: age and remyelination

An old paper that may be of interest to anybody concerned about the ageing debate. 

Shields et al. Remyelination occurs as extensively but more slowly in old rats compared to young rats following gliotoxin-induced CNS demyelination. Glia. 1999 Oct;28(1):77-83.

Age is one of the many factors that influence remyelination following CNS demyelination, although it is not clear whether it is the extent or rate of remyelination that is affected. To resolve this issue these investigators compared remyelination in young and old adult rats  following toxin-induced demyelination. 

Remyelination of areas of demyelination reached completion by 4 weeks in young adult rats (2 months) but was not complete until 9 weeks in old adult rats (9-12 months). 
They have also shown that remyelination in another model of demyelination in the spinal cord white matter of old adult rats (18 months) can be extensive, with longer survival times (8 weeks) than have previously been examined. 
They concluded that it is the rate rather than the extent of remyelination that changes in the ageing CNS. 
These results have had a major influence on our understanding of the mechanisms of remyelination. 
“This may be why investigators set upper age limits when testing treatment strategies in MS’ers. The younger the population the better they are likely to do.”

“This is something we see clinically as well. In MS’ers with highly active MS the earlier you treat the MS the more likely you are to see improvements in functioning. This observation was also noted in the rituximab primary progressive study; it was the PPMS’ers less than 50 years of age that derived the benefit of the treatment, not the group that were older than 50 years of age.”

Previous post of interest: 

14 May 2011
The latter study is based on the observations from a subgroup analysis of the Rituximab PPMS trial that showed younger patients (<51 years) and those with active MRI scans (Gd-enhancing lesions) responded to treatment; 

6 thoughts on “Research: age and remyelination”

  1. Re: Text size. If you are having difficulty reading the text you can also enlarge the fonts using the zoom function on your browser.

  2. Re "New blog design sucks!"Apologies, I had to upgrade the template to be able to use some of the new features in blogger that were not available in the earlier version I was using. Once these are implemented it should provide a better reading experience.

  3. I was 7 years old when the right side of my face went numb, and I started slurring my speech. I felt really sick with "the flu" and was so tired, I kept falling asleep in class. In gym class, I was running, and my legs suddenly jerked up, and I fell down. I couldn't move my legs or stand up. I got some feeling back and was able to walk in a robotic manner. I spent two weeks in the hospital complaining about the "fishes eating my legs," and the wax paper over my right eye (this was 1977). Children didn't get MS back then. I spent years with neurologists saying, "We don't know what this is,” and “Come back when you get worse.” I was diagnosed in 2003 when I finally saw an MS specialist. I've been living with MS my entire life.

  4. I'm 24 year old suffering from pontine desalination since last 6 month .. what are the chances of remylination failure ..MRI improvement since last 6 month..but slowed since last 3 month..

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