Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an incurable chronic autoimmune disease, which affects millions of people around the world. The cause is still unknown. We only know that at some point the immune system begins to attack the protective sheath of nerve endings, composed of myelin, and destroy them. The result affects the nervous system responsible for motor function, and after a few years the person becomes disabled.
A recent study team of scientists of Thomas Jefferson University under the direction of Professor Guang-Xian Zhang revealed that compound found in the fruit peel – ursolic acid could potentially alleviate the condition of patients with multiple sclerosis.
The experiments were carried out on mice, in the acute phase of the disease. After 20 days from the start of application of ursolic acid to this paralyzed mice regained the ability to walk.
The researchers studied the interaction mechanism of ursolic acid with cells and found that it inhibits (suppresses the activity) of the immune cells that are the main driver of RS. In addition, ursolic acid promotes the maturation of oligodendrocytes – cells that produce the myelin that forms a protective sheath on nerve endings.
“It’s not a cure, says Dr. Zhang, But if we see the same reaction from people, this will mean a significant change in the quality of life of patients with multiple sclerosis”.