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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Key biological mechanism in multiple sclerosis identified


Published: Saturday, Dec 1, 2012,
Place: London | Agency: ANI

US scientists have defined for the first time a key underlying process implicated in multiple sclerosis (MS)—a disease that causes progressive and irreversible damage to nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Researchers in the laboratory of Gladstone Investigator Katerina Akassoglou, PhD, have identified in animal models precisely how a protein that seeps from the blood into the brain sets off a response that, over time, causes the nerve cell damage that is a key indicator of MS.
"We have shown that the leakage of blood in the brain acts as an early trigger that sets off the brain's inflammatory response—creating a neurotoxic environment that damages nerve cells,” said Dr Akassoglou
Dr Akassoglou and her team used advanced imaging techniques to monitor the disease's progression in the brain and spinal cord of mice modified to mimic the signs of MS.
The analysis allowed the researchers to study individual cells within the living brain—and to monitor in real-time what happens to these cells as the disease worsens over time.


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