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Synapses & MS: An interview with Dr. Ben Barres

Blog Summary

Following last month's webcast, Promising MS Research to Repair, Protect and Restore the Nervous System, we sat down with Dr. Ben Barres, Professor and Chair of Neurobiology at Stanford University's School of Medicine, to explore the exciting research he and his team are doing in the area of nervous system repair.Dr. Barres, would you tell us a little bit about the work you’re doing in nerve connections and the leads you’re following in this area? My lab is focused on understanding the role of glial cells in the brain. There are two different types of glial cells: oligodendrocytes and astrocytes. Many of you may have learned that oligodendrocytes cover the nerve fibers with myelin, which is damaged by MS.  But the astrocytes, in particular, are a very mysterious class of brain cell. Making up about 40% of cells in the brain, they’re large cells that each ensheath (or cover) thousands of synapses (points of contact through which a signal is transferred from one neuron to the next)...
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