Major award for multiple sclerosis research

Dr Sassan Hafizi has been awarded almost £180,000 from the MS Society.

Dr Sassan Hafizi has been awarded almost £180,000 by the MS Society.

A University of Portsmouth scientist has won almost £180,000 to fund research that could help develop treatments for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients.

Dr Sassan Hafizi, a senior lecturer in the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, has been awarded £177,930 by the MS Society to investigate the potentially beneficial role of a molecule found in the nervous system.

In multiple sclerosis – a debilitating neurological condition suffered by an estimated 2.5 million people worldwide – the immune system attacks myelin, a fatty substance that surrounds nerves and protects them from damage.

In the initial stages of MS the body is capable of replacing myelin, which is produced by special cells called oligodendrocytes. But as the condition progresses myelin repair becomes less efficient and damage accumulates, preventing nerves from functioning properly.

Previous work has revealed that Gas6, a molecule present in the central nervous system, could help to reduce the amount of myelin damage in two ways. Dr Hafizi believes Gas6 may reduce the immune attack on myelin and the myelin-making oligodendrocytes, and can also promote myelin repair by increasing the number of oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system.

His project will investigate how Gas6 works in mice with a condition similar to MS, and look at ways of targeting Gas6 to boost the natural myelin repair process in the brain.

Dr Hafizi said: “I am delighted that the MS Society has made this substantial award to support my research, which ultimately could help scientists develop new treatments to slow or even stop the worsening of the disability that results from nerve damage.

“Currently there are no treatments available to help repair damage caused by MS, which makes this research all the more urgent.”

This is the University’s second award from the MS Society within a year. Arthur Butt, Professor of Cellular Neurophysiology at the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, won £198,196 last year to fund research into the role of the GSK3 molecule in the formation of the myelin sheath around nerves.

Head of the School of Pharmacy and Biomedical Sciences, Professor Sabbir Ahmed, commented: “This is wonderful news, and a reflection of the exceptional work carried out by our researchers in this highly specialised area.

“The award is especially significant as it’s unprecedented for two investigators in the same university – outside the main MS research centres of Edinburgh and Cambridge – to have independently gained funding from the MS Society.”

Dr Sorrel Bickley, Head of Biomedical Research at the MS Society, added: “The MS Society is very pleased to support the excellent research into MS being done at the University of Portsmouth. Developing treatments that promote myelin repair is a priority for us and we believe Dr Sassan Hafizi’s study of Gas6 is a promising area of research.

“More than 100,000 people are living with MS in the UK. It’s unpredictable and different for everyone but can cause problems with how people walk, move, see, think and feel.  The MS Society invests over £4 million in research each year and we’re committed to developing effective treatments for all forms of MS.”


2 total comments on this postSubmit yours
  1. Well done Sassan!

  2. Too many do not know the causes and the possibilities of curing multiple sclerosis.
    Multiple sclerosis and also some other diseases, such as cancer, are considered incurable in classical medicine. This is wrong. It is only the fewest efforts to look over the plate edge of the plate, which is served by this establishment. This establishment earns billions of these diseases.

    Thus classical medicine describes this disease: “Multiple sclerosis is a chronic inflammatory, non-contagious disease of the central nervous system, the entire brain and spinal cord can be affected. In the medical field, this is referred to as “encephalomyelitis disseminata”. In MS patients, parts of the nerve fibers are destroyed by the own immune system, which are mainly involved in the transmission of impulses, but also nerve fibers and nerve cells themselves. This causes, among other things, paralysis symptoms, muscles can no longer be properly coordinated, or sensory signals can not be passed on correctly.
    A cure of the disease is currently not possible. The cause of multiple sclerosis has not yet been definitively clarified. It is known that hereditary factors but also external influences play a role. Here, among other things, viral infections but also vitamin D deficiency are discussed. However, MS is not a classic hereditary disease.
    One counts the multiple sclerosis to the so-called Autoimmunkrankheiten, that is the body immune system is malformed and is directed against healthy, body-like structures. ”

    This is something right. The defense cells are misguided and destroy the insulating layers of the nerve fibers, and therefore the tissue hardens. As a result, the informational pathways of nerve cells to the brain are blocked.
    The Classical medicine cites external influences as a cause and also the vitamin D deficiency is mentioned. This is absolutely true, but other influences play a role. The entire western way of life promotes this disease, the list is long. As with cancer, the causes are: contaminated air, chemicals in food, chemicals in care products, pharmaceuticals and so on. Thus, several factors are combined, excluding only one negative factor does not lead to success or healing. Multiple sclerosis as well as cancer and other diseases of modern times are easy to stop when the mentioned causes are toppled.
    It is actually very simple, unfortunately, the patients rarely inform themselves and blindly trust the classic medicine, which however for nearly 100 years has not progressed.
    Prof. Dayeng has been dealing with the causes of these diseases of the modern age very intensively and has done many studies. The results are clear.

    From these experiences, Prof. Dayeng then developed a therapy that treats these diseases, with extraordinarily great successes. Prof. Dayeng is the founder of the Dayeng Foundation. The success of the Dayeng Foundation, also in the treatment of multiple sclerosis, is extremely high. However, most patients prefer to rely on classical medicine, which is indirectly involved in the development of the disease. As long as the patients do not understand and change, they can, of course, not be cured. This is why an explanation of the causes that classical medicine almost never calls is urgently required.

    For more information, see:
    All the attending doctors and therapists of the Dayeng Foundation work by the way without fee, this is only mentioned to make clear that we do not work for profits. The philosophy of the Dayeng Foundation is “healing must not be a business”.
    Dr. Stefanie Hillinger

UoP News © 2019 All Rights Reserved