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A. The FDA Recommends a New Drug for Multiple Sclerosis

Narrator: This is Science Today. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently recommended the approval of a drug called Novantrone to slow down the deterioration and relapse rate of multiple sclerosis. The drug works by suppressing certain white blood cells, including T-cells, which are thought to attack the myelin sheath. This is a fatty material that insulates nerve fibers in the brain. Claude Genain, a professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco, says myelin destruction is the essence of the disease.

Genain: Because these fibers are no longer insulated, they can not conduct anymore the nerve impulses, which carry the orders from the brain to any part of the body.

Narrator: In his own line of research, Genain discovered the body's own antibodies play a direct role in the development of the disease. This finding can lead to another possible target for drug therapy.

Genain: But one has to remember that this all happens in the context of a very coordinated attack between T cells and antibodies against the components of the brain and the myelin

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.