Abstract: McDonough and Williams

Betaine as a neuroprotective therapy for multiple sclerosis

Jennifer McDonough, Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Kent State University

Jessica Williams, Ph.D., Neuroscience, Cleveland Clinic

BHRI members Jennifer McDonough, Associate Professor in Biological Sciences at Kent State University and Jessica Williams, Assistant Professor in Molecular Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, will join forces to test a novel therapy for multiple sclerosis. 

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating neurological disease that strikes patients in the prime of their lives.  Patients are usually diagnosed with MS at 20 - 40 years of age.  There are now close to 1 million people in the United States with MS.  In this disease, inflammation and demyelination lead to neurodegeneration and neurological disability that worsens over time.  Current disease modifying therapies provide some protection from inflammatory aspects of disease; however, there are no effective therapies to stop the neurodegeneration which occurs in MS.  We have identified a potential new neuroprotective therapy for MS that can be administered in drinking water.  With a BHRI pilot award, we will test the effects of this therapy on alleviating neurodegeneration and subsequent neurological disability in a mouse model of MS.