New discovery could pave the way for advanced MS treatments

1 August 2012

More advanced forms of treatment for multiple sclerosis (MS) could be realised, following new research by Wayne State University School of Medicine.

Scientists based at the institute, along with colleagues in Canada, are confident they have identified one or more substances which are produced by a type of immune cell in people suffering from the disease.

With the finding of the B cells, the researchers are confident that the substances play a key role in the progression of MS and could lead to new targeted therapies for the condition.

B cells are a subset of lymphocytes that eventually become plasma cells and produce immunoglobulins around the body. However, these substances appear to attack the brain and spinal cord of those battling MS.

The study's lead author Robert Lisak, professor of neurology at Wayne State, stated: "We think this is a very significant finding, particularly for the damage to the cerebral cortex seen in patients with MS, because those areas seem to be damaged by material spreading into the brain from the meninges, which are rich in B cells adjacent to the areas of brain damage."

MS was put into the spotlight earlier this summer when the news broke that TV daredevil Jack Osbourne had been diagnosed with the serious medical condition.

Posted by Edward Bartel

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