The decision to turn our cycling tour into a fundraiser was an easy one, to decide on a cause was even easier. Because Conny herself suffers from MS, we know from first hand what a nasty wasting disease it is. With this fundraiser we hope to make a – small but nevertheless important – contribution to the discovery of possible cures of MS. With our cycling tour we want to raise as much funds as possible for the MS Research foundation that supports several scientific and medical researches.
Delta works research
Eventually, we have selected a research to which the proceeds of our sponsored cycling tour will be donated. It was quite a search for us. There are so many interesting proposals and researches. Which to select for our fundraiser? What subject appeals to us? With what kind of research do we feel a connection? For us the most important was to select a research that aims at either treatment of MS, or at prevention of further deterioration of health due to MS. A cure of MS is still a long way away. In the meantime it is very important to find ways to reduce the symptoms of MS.
The research we selected is called “Fortification of the delta works in the human brain”. It is carried out in the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam.
Strengthen the delta works of the brain
In order to work properly, the brains are protected from the rest of the body by a barrier, which can be compared to the Delta Works in the Netherlands. This barrier, which is called the Blood-Brain Barrier (BBB) prevents the invasion of cells and proteins into the brains. The BBB is formed by endothelial cells, which line the interior surface of blood vessels, and astrocytes (star-shaped cells), which contribute to the strength of the blood vessels.
In people with MS, the natural protective function of the BBB is disturbed. Blood vessels in the brain get damaged, allowing inflammatory cells to enter the brains. It is important to strengthen the BBB, to prevent worsening of the MS symptoms.
Astrocytes secrete several factors, that contribute to the strength of the BBB. This project is aimed to identify these specific factors and to investigate if different factors are produced in the brains of MS patients.
Results so far
The function of the endothelial cells in the brains of MS patients was investigated. These endothelial cells do not function well at sites of inflammation. Also, the interaction between endothelial cells and astrocytes has changed.
Astrocytes produce several factors, which improve de strength of the BBB. The results from this study contribute to a better understanding of the function of the BBB. In addition, this study helps in the identification of factors that improve the strength of the barrier, in order to prevent inflammatory cells from entering the brains.
It would mean a lot to us if you would support our sponsored cycling tour.
You can make your donation out to:
'Stichting MS Research'
International Bank Account Number: NL36INGB0004941716 (IBAN)
Bank Identifier Code: INGBNL2A (BIC)
Please state 'Verder met MS' (Also with MS)
Thank you so much for being interested in our cycling tour and our cause!