New knowledge about treating multiple sclerosis

February 3, 2014

(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.

Explore further: Cancer drug a possible treatment for multiple sclerosis

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

Cancer drug a possible treatment for multiple sclerosis

February 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, ...

Patients curious about medical marijuana treatments

January 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.

Recommended for you

Researchers build a digital piece of brain

October 8, 2015

If you want to learn how something works, one strategy is to take it apart and put it back together again. For 10 years, a global initiative called the Blue Brain Project—hosted at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne ...

How the brain's wiring leads to cognitive control

October 6, 2015

How does the brain determine which direction to let its thoughts fly? Looking for the mechanisms behind cognitive control of thought, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, University of California and United States ...


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.