Advancing Neural Repair Through Cellular Responses and Biomarkers in MS Models: Jenn Orthmann-Murphy, MD, PhD


The assistant professor of neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania discussed preclinical research on neural repair in multiple sclerosis at ACTRIMS Forum 2024. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

"We don't know how the lesion burden changes because MRIs don't capture everything that's happening at the same time. The goal of the platform that I developed would be to say, ‘well, this change in an astrocyte is reflected by this blood marker’, and we can then follow that in clinical trials.”

Over the past decade, remyelination biology and the therapeutic potential of restoring myelin sheaths for the prevention of neurodegeneration and disability in multiple sclerosis (MS) has made significant progress with many regeneration strategies tested in clinical trials. According to a recent review published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, animal models utilized to assess oligodendroglial responses and regeneration of myelin vary substantially in the mechanism of demyelination, involvement of inflammatory cells, neurodegeneration and capacity for remyelination.

Further research on how subsets of glia contribute to ongoing inflammatory activity and promote or inhibit repair using these MS models may offer insight into potential mechanisms to modulate remyelination in inflammatory settings.1 At the 2024 Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum, February 29 to March 2, Jenn Orthmann-Murphy, MD, PhD, presented a talk in a session on basic and clinical topics on barriers to and proposed solutions for remyelination. During the session, Orthmann-Murphy focused on speaking about the next generation of animal models for investigating remyelination in MS in her presentation.

Following her presentation at the forum, Orthmann-Murphy, an assistant professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, sat down with NeurologyLive® to discuss the specific challenges that patients with MS face regarding neural repair. She also spoke about how her research with mouse models can further contribute to better understanding MS progression. Additionally, Orthmann-Murphy talked about the potential impact precise biomarkers could have on future MS treatments for patients with the disease.

Click here for more coverage of ACTRIMS 2024.

1. Packer D, Fresenko EE, Harrington EP. Remyelination in animal models of multiple sclerosis: finding the elusive grail of regeneration. Front Mol Neurosci. 2023;16:1207007. Published 2023 Jun 28. doi:10.3389/fnmol.2023.1207007
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