Scientists track origins of multiple sclerosis

August 7, 2014
Scientists track origins of multiple sclerosis

The autoimmune response that is involved in multiple sclerosis (MS) was once thought to be confined to the brain. Yale researchers, however, have uncovered evidence that this damaging response may begin in the lymph nodes. 

The finding, reported in the issue of journal Science Translational Medicine, tracks the origin of the autoimmune response in the lymph nodes and later its arrival in the brain, where it contributes to tissue damage that results in numbness, loss of vision, and debilitating fatigue.

"This helps explain why treatments that work outside the central nervous system can ease MS symptoms and may give us clues how to develop even more effective treatments," said neuroimmunologist Kevin O'Connor, one of the senior authors of the paper. 

More information: B cells populating the multiple sclerosis brain mature in the draining cervical lymph nodes, Sci Transl Med 6 August 2014: Vol. 6, Issue 248, p. 248ra107 Sci. Transl. Med. DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3008879

Related Stories

Novel immune target identified in multiple sclerosis

July 12, 2012

(HealthDay) -- About half of a subgroup of patients with multiple sclerosis have autoantibodies to a potassium channel in the brain, according to a study published in the July 12 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Researchers implicate unique cell type in multiple sclerosis

August 1, 2012

Researchers at the National Institutes of Health have found evidence that a unique type of immune cell contributes to multiple sclerosis (MS). Their discovery helps define the effects of one of the newest drugs under investigation ...

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, ...

Immune response may cause harm in brain injuries, disorders

July 24, 2014

Could the body's own immune system play a role in memory impairment and cognitive dysfunction associated with conditions like chronic epilepsy, Alzheimer's dementia and concussions? Cleveland Clinic researchers believe so, ...

Recommended for you

Uncovering the secrets of immune system invaders

July 20, 2015

The human immune system is a powerful and wonderful creation. If you cut your skin, your body mobilizes a series of different proteins and cells to heal the cut. If you are infected by a virus or bacteria, your immune system ...

The role of the microbiota in preventing allergies

July 10, 2015

The human body is inhabited by billions of symbiotic bacteria, carrying a diversity that is unique to each individual. The microbiota is involved in many mechanisms, including digestion, vitamin synthesis and host defense. ...

0 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.