New knowledge about treating multiple sclerosis

(Medical Xpress)—A study carried out at Victoria, and recently published online in the international scientific journal PLOS ONE, holds promise for patients suffering from secondary progressive MS, an advanced form of the disease, which causes nerve degeneration leading to impaired vision and coordination, and eventually, paralysis.

The study focused on understanding how a new MS drug, MIS416, developed by the New Zealand biotech company Innate Immunotherapeutics, is able to help with secondary progressive MS, a form of MS with few effective treatments.

The team of scientists includes Dr Anne La Flamme, an Associate Professor in Victoria's School of Biological Sciences and head of the MS Research Programme at the Malaghan Institute of Medical Research, PhD student Madeleine White, and Dr Gill Webster from Innate Immunotherapeutics.
"We know this drug works, but we are not sure why. This study has helped us understand the pathways that are driving the disease and how the medication alters the immune system, giving us a better idea of why MIS416 works as well as insight into how to treat patients and predict who will do better on this sort of medication," says Dr La Flamme.

Most people believe MS revolves around T cells, says Dr La Flamme, but the Victoria study reveals that targeting other cells in the central nervous system can significantly reduce advanced forms of MS.

More information: White M, Webster G, O'Sullivan D, Stone S, La Flamme AC (2014) Targeting Innate Receptors with MIS416 Reshapes Th Responses and Suppresses CNS Disease in a Mouse Model of Multiple Sclerosis. PLoS ONE 9(1): e87712. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0087712

Related Stories

Patients curious about medical marijuana treatments

date Jan 16, 2014

Ever since medical marijuana became legal in Illinois on Jan. 1, Loyola University Medical Center neurologist and multiple sclerosis specialist Dr. Matthew McCoyd has been inundated with questions from his patients.

Cancer drug a possible treatment for multiple sclerosis

date Feb 21, 2013

(Medical Xpress)—A drug that is currently used for cancer can relieve and slow down the progression of the autoimmune disease multiple sclerosis (MS) in rats, according to a new study published in PLOS ONE. The discovery, which ...

Recommended for you

Altered pain processing in patients with cognitive impairment

date 18 hours ago

People with dementia and other forms of cognitive impairment (CI) have altered responses to pain, with many conditions associated with increased pain sensitivity, concludes a research review in Pain, the official publication of the ...

Changing activity in the ageing brain

date 22 hours ago

Normal ageing affects our ability to carry out complex cognitive tasks. But exactly how our brain functions change during this process is largely unknown. Now, researchers in Malaysia have demonstrated that ...

Networking neurons thrive in 3-D human 'organoid'

date 22 hours ago

A patient tormented by suicidal thoughts gives his psychiatrist a few strands of his hair. She derives stem cells from them to grow budding brain tissue harboring the secrets of his unique illness in a petri ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.