Multiple sclerosis (MS) patients today have more hope of a good disease outcome with an ever-increasing choice of immunomodulatory therapies to reduce disease relapses, thought to be caused by inflammation within the CNS, leading to axonal demyelination. However, although there has been much progress in this disease phase, there has been little impact on the progressive phase of MS, when neurodegeneration dominates and patients accumulate disability over years. This failure of prevention of progressive disease has led to a frame-shift in research thinking, focusing on neuroprotective strategies such as promotion of remyelination, to be used alongside immunomodulatory therapies. This review discusses this unmet need in MS, in terms of pathology and current knowledge of remyelination and proremyelinating therapies.
Keywords: demyelination; multiple sclerosis; neuroprotection; regeneration; remyelination.