There are still so many incurable diseases circulating around the world despite the advancement in science and technology. Some of which are the following: Cancer, Aids, and Coronary Artery Disease. The diseases mentioned still tops the most feared illnesses, however there are also some other diseases that can be deadly and even unpredictable like the Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
This illness is extreme because it’s a big threat to the central nervous system, to the point that it destroys the brain and body flow — it attacks the brain cells and the spinal cord, which can lead to mental side effects such as muscle weakness, and even blindness.
One of the biggest problems of scientists and doctors that face today in relation to the Multiple Sclerosis is that up until this day, the cause of this disease is still unknown. Although scientists have theorized that it’s caused by an unidentified environmental element, but there is still no proof to support this theory.
Multiple Sclerosis can affect an estimate of 2.3 million people, and these people are usually in the age range of 20 to 50 years old, with women being affected three more times than men.
But just recently, a Cambridge scientists stepped up with an attempt to cure this unpredictable disease. Dr. Su Metcalfe and her company, LIFNano, are on their way to curing this disease.
When Su was spending her time working at Cambridge’s Department of Surgery, she was able to make a big step.
“I was looking to see what controls the immune response and stops it auto-attacking us. I discovered a small binary switch, controlled by a LIF, which regulates inside the immune cell itself. LIF is able to control the cell to ensure it doesn’t attack your own body but then releases the attack when needed.”
Su added that the LIF not only protects it against attacks, but it also makes the brain and the spinal cord healthier than ever. It does its job in tissue management and repair. That’s why Su calls this discovery a double whammy.
Despite this brilliant achievement by Su, she later finds out that there’s a catch in all of this — “the LIF could only survive outside the cell for 20 minutes before being broken down by the body, meaning there was not enough time to deploy it in a therapy. And this is where the technology, in the form of nano-particles, comes in.” (Cambridgeshire)
Through the antibodies that the nanoparticles produce, the healing process can be put into specific areas in the brain which directly helps the repaired parts caused by the multiple sclerosis.
The research process in trying to cure multiple sclerosis has not been smooth-sailing. By 2020, Dr. Su aims to begin clinical trials of the therapy. She is also continually looking for funding, hoping that one of the pharmaceutical companies that she is looking into that will hopefully help her study, will be willing to help her.
Dr. Su’s initiative has been a big step in the medical and science field. There is still so much work to do, but this is definitely something.