Why do people with multiple sclerosis get worse?

Researcher Dr. Michael Levin and his team at U of S have made a ground-breaking discovery to help answer that question.

In people with MS, stress granules – a type of protein formed to protect nerve cells when people are under stress – don’t dissolve when they’re supposed to and harm the cell, the team found.

Most of our nerve cells are always under a variation of stress, whether that be due to fever, anxiety or poor sleep, he said.

He has spent 18 years studying the disease and five years focusing on stress granules. This discovery provides a new understanding of how nerve cells die, he said.

“Since we announced it the response in Saskatchewan has been amazing.”

Levin’s goal is now to design medication to dissolve stress granules, so they can go back into the nucleus.

Saskatchewan has one of the highest rates of MS per capita in the world. It’s estimated 3,700 people in the province are living with the disease.