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C. Understanding Multiple Sclerosis

Narrator: This is Science Today. Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, is a debilitating neurological disease which affects over 300 thousand people nationwide. Dr. Claude Genain an assistant professor of neurology at the University of California, San Francisco recently discovered normally protective immune cells called antibodies destroy myelin, the protective lining of the nervous system.

Genain: If at any place the myelin is chopped out and there are holes in it, it's like having a short circuit on your board at home. The current will conduct very poorly and your lightbulb on the other end will not light properly.

Narrator: Depending on the stage of disease, results may range from numbness to paralysis or temporary blindness. Genain says discovering antibodies play a direct role in MS provides researchers with a new target for drug therapy.

Genain: We're not at the stage where we can understand what's causing it and therefore we're not talking about a real cure. But I think arresting the progression is tremendous progress.

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