Steroids Increase Myelin SynthesisSteroids help to reduce inflammation, but University of Illinois scientists suggest they also could be used to reverse a loss of myelin – a major problem in multiple sclerosis and other demyelinating diseases and injuries associated with the central and peripheral nervous systems.

Treatment of MS already includes the use of steroids, because they relieve inflammation and speed remission. However, new findings indicate that the steroids dexamethasone and progesterone actually signal the initiation and dramatically increase the rate of myelin synthesis.

What causes a loss of myelin demyelination – in MS cases is not known, but is believed to be the result of an abnormal immune response to bacteria and viruses. When myelin fails to form, it jeopardizes nerve communications leading to altered sensations and other complications. Demyelination is a focal point of research around the world.