The discovery of a gene that causes a form of hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP) may provide scientists with an important insight into what causes axons, the stems of our nerve cells, to degenerate in conditions such as multiple sclerosis.
In the Journal of Clinical Investigation, an international team of scientists led by Dr Evan Reid at the University of Cambridge, and Dr Stephan Zuchner from the University of Miami, report that mutations in the gene known as 'reticulon 2' on chromosome 19 cause a form of HSP, a condition characterised by progressive stiffness and contraction (spasticity) of the legs, caused by selective and specific degeneration of axons
New research highlights the possibility of reversing ageing in the central nervous system for multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. The study is published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.
As we get older, our bodies' ability to regenerate decreases. This is not only true for our skin (which is evident in the wrinkles that develop as we age) but also true for other tissues in the body, including the regenerative processes in the brain. For diseases which often span several decades and are affected by regenerative processes, such as multiple sclerosis, this can have massive implications.
A new study from researchers at Queen Mary, University of London shows how a particular virus tricks the immune system into triggering inflammation and nerve cell damage in the brain, which is known to cause MS.
Previous research has suggested a link between the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and multiple sclerosis but the research has remained controversial since scientists have so far failed to substantiate the link.
The new study proves the virus is involved in a manner more sophisticated and subtle than previously imagined, and may offer new ways to treat or prevent the disease.
Radiology researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) have found evidence that multiple sclerosis affects an area of the brain that controls cognitive, sensory and motor functioning apart from the disabling damage caused by the disease's visible lesions.
The thalamus of the brain was selected as the benchmark for the study conducted by faculty at the UTHealth Medical School. Lead researchers include Khader M. Hasan, Ph.D., associate professor, and Ponnada A. Narayana, Ph.D., professor and director of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging; and Jerry S. Wolinsky, M.D., the Bartels Family and Opal C. Rankin Professor in the Department of Neurology.
An article published Friday Dec. 23 in the December 2011 issue of The Quarterly Review of Biology argues that multiple sclerosis, long viewed as primarily an autoimmune disease, is not actually a disease of the immune system. Dr. Angelique Corthals, a forensic anthropologist and professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, suggests instead that MS is caused by faulty lipid metabolism, in many ways more similar to coronary atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) than to other autoimmune diseases.
Sanofi (EURONEXT: SAN and NYSE: SNY) and its subsidiary Genzyme reported top-line results from TENERE, a Phase III clinical trial comparing the effectiveness, safety and tolerability of once-daily oral teriflunomide to interferon beta-1a (Rebif®), an approved injectable therapy, in people with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (RMS). The TENERE trial, which included 324 patients, is the second completed study of five efficacy studies of teriflunomide in MS, making the clinical program one of the largest and broadest of any multiple sclerosis agent under development.
Medical researchers at the University of Alberta have discovered a new way to track the progression of multiple sclerosis (MS) in those living with the disease, by using a powerful, triple strength MRI to track increasing levels of iron found in brain tissue.
The researchers discovered that iron levels in MS patients are increasing in grey matter areas of the brain that are responsible for relaying messages. High iron levels in a specific "relay area" were noted in patients who had physical disabilities associated with MS.
Researchers at the University of Toronto have found an explanation for how the intestinal tract influences a key component of the immune system to prevent infection, offering a potential clue to the cause of autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.
"The findings shed light on the complex balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria in the gut," said Prof. Jennifer Gommerman, an Associate Professor in the Department of Immunology at U of T, whose findings were published online by the scientific journal, Nature.
Working together, researchers at Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic have for the first time examined early multiple sclerosis (MS) brain lesions in the cerebral cortex. These lesions are thought to be critical to MS progression and the researchers found that the lesions are distinctly different than previously speculated, giving clues to better disease management.
The long-accepted theory has been that MS begins in the myelin on the inner layers of the brain, also known as white matter. However, the findings of this collaborative study show the opposite -- that the disease likely can move from the outer (cortical) layers of the brain toward the white matter, offering new insight into the progression of MS.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) may progress from the outermost layers of the brain to its deep parts, and isn't always an "inside-out" process as previously thought, reported a new collaborative study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic. The traditional understanding is that the disease begins in the white matter that forms the bulk of the brain's inside, and extends to involve the brain's superficial layers, the cortex. Study findings support an opposite, outside-in process: from the cerebrospinal fluid-filled subarachnoid space, that cushions the outside of the brain and the cortex, into the white matter. The new findings will guide researchers as they seek to further understand and treat the disease.