It's a frustrating situation. There are already stem cells in the nervous system that are capable of repairing the damage done by multiple sclerosis, but getting them to do so has proven very difficult. Now, however, a multi-institutional team led by Case Western Reserve University's Prof. Paul Tesar may have found the answer – and it involves using medications that were designed to treat athlete's foot and eczema.
Multiple sclerosis causes the immune system to attack myelin, which is the protective coating that surrounds nerve fibers in the spinal cord, brain and optic nerve. With that insulating layer gone or compromised, electrical signals can't travel down the nerves properly. As a result, MS sufferers can lose partial to complete control of their legs or arms, or the use of their eyes – along with experiencing other problems.