According to Inserm, with approximately 2,500 new cases diagnosed each year in France, multiple sclerosis is the leading cause of severe non-traumatic disability in young adults. In France, it affects over 100,000 people according to the Ministry of Solidarity and Health. It is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system (ie the brain and spinal cord): cells of the immune system, dormant, turn on their own camp and attack the body. Myelin that surrounds and protects our nerve fibers. These well-known “plaques”, caused by lesions, prevent nerve fibers from properly transmitting messages sent by the brain to the rest of the body, and vice versa. Depending on their location, the results can be motor, sensory, cognitive or visual.
To date, there is no cure for this disease. There are many treatments that can improve the quality of life of patients, but despite ongoing research, nothing is curative. Researchers at the University of Geneva (UNIGE) in Switzerland have tackled the problem by trying to devise a strategy to prevent immune cells in affected organisms from breaking down the myelin in nerve fibers.