These days, gut bacteria have been implicated in everything from obesity to mood, but two new studies show they could also play a large role in an often debilitating autoimmune disease: multiple sclerosis.

One study, led by scientists at the University of California, San Francisco, analyzed the gut microbiomes of 71 healthy people and 71 people with MS. The MS patients were found to have four times as many Acienetobacter and Akkermansia bacteria as the healthy group. The healthy group, meanwhile, had four times as much Parabacteroides bacteria as the MS patients.

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Researchers who study multiple sclerosis (MS), a debilitating autoimmune disease in which the body attacks the lining (myelin) of the brain and spinal cord, have spent years seeking a cure. There may be hope on the horizon. A British scientist, Su Metcalfe, formerly of Cambridge University, has made a crucial discovery that offers the first hope of a cure for MS.

This comes as great news to the 2.3 million people around the world who live with MS, which leads to a host of physical and mental side effects including muscle weakness and even blindness.

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[DIGEST: New York Times, NBC]

Late last month, the Federal Drug Administration approved a new drug to treat multiple sclerosis. The drug, called ocrelizumab, is the first FDA-approved drug to treat primary progressive MS, a severe form of multiple sclerosis. It is also approved to help the more common form of the disease known as relapse-remitting.

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[DIGEST: NYPost, Science, NCBI, Mitochondrion, Neuroinflammation, Pharma]

The ability of DNA to repair itself is essential for life, yet this ability declines with age and DNA dysfunctions contribute to diseases like cancer, multiple sclerosis, memory loss, and back pain. A key molecule in reversing this aging process and eliminating symptoms, NAD, will be tested in humans within the next six months.

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Credit: Source.

[DIGEST: Science Alert, Healthline News, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Vice]

Stroke patients treated with a direct injection of stem cells to the brain saw significant improvements in motor function in a study reported this month in the journal Stroke. The study involved 18 patients who had passed the six-month mark after their stroke — the period of time after which improvements are rare and treatments typically stopped. Some of the patients were as much as three years past their stroke. Even these patients experienced restored functions.

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