Scientists in Bristol claim results from a research project into multiple sclerosis (MS) could lead to treatment to reduce the severity of the disease.
The team carried out tests on mice and found those with higher levels of galanin, a protein within brain nerve cells, were resistant to MS.
Researchers at Bristol University say it may take ten years before the discovery leads to a new generation of drugs, they believe the results are “very encouraging”. A spokesman for the Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland welcomed the development yesterday.
Professor David Wynick, who led the Bristol team, said mice that were given increased levels of the neuropeptide – or protein – galanin had proved resistant to the disease.
He said: “The levels of galanin are much higher in the brains of patients with MS.
“We weren’t sure why that was, so we used an animal model of MS and showed that, if we increase the levels of this protein in the brains of mice, they are completely resistant to the development of the disease.