Researchers from the University of Alberta, Canada, have discovered an underlying defect in brain cells that may to be blame for multiple sclerosis (MS). Studies have suggested that mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, might be related to the occurrence of MS, but have not been able to decipher how they malfunction. This study, however, combines clinical and lab experiments to explain how mitochondria become defective in MS patients. The researchers used human brain tissue samples to reveal how two cell sub-components miscommunicate in MS patients and also identified at least one protein (Rab32) that appears to be responsible. According to the researchers, a part of the cell that stores calcium gets too close to the part of the energy-generating mitochondia when Rab32 is present in large amounts. This causes miscomunication that ultimately disrupts the calcium supply and causes toxicity for brain cells. In healthy brain tissue samples, researchers say there should be virtually no Rab32 present.