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President’s Letter:

Photo of Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson, Myelin Repair Foundation President, CEO and Founder … waiting for a cure since 1976

Dear Friends and Supporters of MRF,

We have continued to push our myelin repair work forward with the generous support of you and our other donors. Thank you very much.

We are very pleased with our progress toward identifying a biomarker of myelin repair and have important information and updates to share with you.

Why Biomarkers are Needed

As you know, after each MS exacerbation, the myelin often repairs to some degree, but usually it is not of sufficient quantity and quality to keep the neuron healthy and functioning properly. As a result, MS patients only partially recover and thus with each attack suffer ever increasing disability. The ability to measure these changes in demyelination and myelin repair are essential to drug development and clinical trials.

Without these concrete measures, or biomarkers, it’s not possible to accurately determine if a compound developed in any laboratory by any company truly promotes repair to damaged myelin. Developing myelin repair biomarkers will benefit the millions worldwide living with MS by enabling vastly more rapid and accurate pre-clinical testing, and also likely smaller and faster clinical trials.

MRF-Funded Experiments at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU)

We are funding research at OHSU that simultaneously examines evoke potentials, MRI images, and extracellular vesicles (EVs) – each as possible biomarkers.

  1. Evoke potentials: The electrical signals from the brain to the arms and legs are being measured with electrophysiology (somatosensory evoked potential – SSEP). These electrical signals are transmitted along the nerve axon and are slower when the axon is demyelinated. Thus, SSEPs may provide a functional measure of remyelination.

    SSEPs are evaluated by stimulating a nerve in the arm or leg and measuring the time it takes for that impulse to get to the brain – the signal intensity is measured and graphed. If anywhere along the electrical path the nerve is demyelinated, the impulse will go more slowly and the shape of the curve will change.
  2. Advanced imaging to look for remyelination using MRI is being performed using a technique (T1-relaxometry), the development of which was supported by MRF.
  3. Blood draw: Blood samples are collected so that EVs can be isolated and analyzed by other labs that MRF is funding. This will allow us to assess the results obtained from this study in the context of MRF’s other studies.

MRF’s Results to Date

We are excited by the findings from our recent experiments. Pharmaceutical companies that have myelin repair drug development programs underway also find these results to be very promising.They know that biomarkers – like MRF is working to identify – would help accelerate their efforts.

The fact that companies working to get myelin repair treatments to patients are using funds from their research budgets to support MRF’s experiments is important confirmation of:

  • The role MRF is playing
  • The need for biomarkers
  • The quality of our science

Completing Our Task

Your gifts have made our many accomplishments possible. We ask for your continued support to enable us to complete our biomarker initiative.



Focus on Biomarkers

The Myelin Repair Foundation is identifying biomarkers to help accelerate myelin repair treatments.