Multiple sclerosis is a common cause of neurological disability in young adults. The disease is complex -- its aetiology is multifactorial and largely unknown; its pathology is heterogeneous; and, clinically, it is difficult to diagnose, manage and treat. However, perhaps its most frustrating aspect is the inadequacy of the healing response of remyelination. This regenerative process generally occurs with great efficiency in experimental models, and sometimes proceeds to completion in multiple sclerosis. But as the disease progresses, the numbers of lesions in which demyelination persists increases, significantly contributing to clinical deterioration. Understanding why remyelination fails is crucial for devising effective methods by which to enhance it.