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Saturday, November 15, 2014

another Alemtuzumab Update: Lemtrada Finally Wins FDA Nod

By John Gever, Managing Editor, MedPage Today    - November 15, 2014

Overcoming an initial rejection by the FDA, alemtuzumab (Lemtrada) was given marketing approval late Friday for treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis but "generally" as a third-line treatment, its manufacturer said.
The approval also comes with a requirement for a boxed warning about "serious, sometimes fatal autoimmune conditions," severe infusion reactions, and the possibility of increased risk of certain cancers, according to the announcement from Sanofi's Genzyme unit.
And alemtuzumab will only be available through a restricted distribution program that will require prescribers, pharmacies, and patients to be certified. The intent is to "educate healthcare providers and patients on the serious risks associated with Lemtrada and the appropriate periodic monitoring required to support the detection of these risks for 48 months after the last infusion," the statement said.
Alemtuzumab is unusual among MS drugs in several respects. It was sold for many years as Campath for treating certain leukemias. In MS, it is administered by IV infusion in two annual cycles, the first lasting 5 days and the second 3 days. Its target is the CD52 protein on the surfaces of T and B cells. The two treatment cycles temporarily deplete these cells. Their subsequent re-population is marked by a transformation in immune responsiveness, such that the autoimmune attack on myelin fibers in the nervous system is shut down or at least reduced in most patients.

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Friday, November 14, 2014

Genzyme’s Lemtrada Approved by the FDA - GOOD News for MANY affected by MS That needed another Treatment Option.....

HOLY COW !!!!  -- GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!
 CONGRATS to Genzyme for re-applying with the FDA!!!

  My skin is tingling and eyes are glistening
I feel relief now coming for many who needed a new and different, treatment option…
 which is why I am glad I executed that petition, back in the beginning of this year (2014) ~~ Stuart


 Approval Establishes Genzyme’s MS Franchise in the U.S. with Two Approved Products; Follows Global Approvals -
Friday, November 14, 2014 9:00 pm EST



"Today’s approval is the culmination of more than a decade of work by Genzyme to develop Lemtrada"

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Genzyme, aSanofi company, announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved LemtradaTM(alemtuzumab) for the treatment of patients with relapsing forms of multiple sclerosis (MS). Because of its safety profile, the use of Lemtrada should generally be reserved for patients who have had an inadequate response to two or more drugs indicated for the treatment of MS.
Today’s approval is the culmination of more than a decade of work by Genzyme to develop Lemtrada,” said Genzyme President and CEO, David Meeker. “Lemtrada demonstrated superior efficacy over Rebif on annualized relapse rates in the two studies which were the basis for approval. A comprehensive risk evaluation and mitigation strategy (REMS) will be instituted in order to help detect and manage the serious risks identified with treatment.”
The FDA approval of Lemtrada is based on two pivotal randomized Phase III open-label rater-blinded studies comparing treatment with Lemtrada to Rebif®(high-dose subcutaneous interferon beta-1a) in patients with relapsing remitting MS who were either new to treatment (CARE-MS I) or who had relapsed while on prior therapy (CARE-MS II).
In CARE-MS I, Lemtrada was significantly more effective than interferon beta-1a at reducing annualized relapse rates; the difference observed in slowing disability progression did not reach statistical significance. In CARE-MS II, Lemtrada was significantly more effective than interferon beta-1a at reducing annualized relapse rates, and accumulation of disability was significantly slowed in patients given Lemtrada vs. interferon beta-1a. The clinical development program for Lemtrada involved nearly 1,500 patients with more than 6,400 patient-years of safety follow-up.
“The unmet need in MS remains high,” said Edward Fox, M.D., Ph.D., Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic of Central Texas. “It is a great day for people living with relapsing forms of MS in the United States, who will now have access to this new meaningful treatment”.
The Lemtrada label includes a boxed warning noting a risk of serious, sometimes fatal autoimmune conditions, serious and life-threatening infusion reactions and also noting Lemtrada may cause an increased risk of malignancies including thyroid cancer, melanoma and lymphoproliferative disorders.
Lemtrada is only available through a restricted distribution program, the Lemtrada REMS (Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy). This program has been developed to ensure that access to Lemtrada in the U.S. is only through certified prescribers, healthcare facilities and specialty pharmacies and to also ensure that patients are enrolled in the REMS program. The program is intended to help educate healthcare providers and patients on the serious risks associated with Lemtrada and the appropriate periodic monitoring required to support the detection of these risks for 48 months after the last infusion. The REMS is based on a developmental risk management program that was successfully implemented in the Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials and allowed for early detection and management of some of the serious risks associated with Lemtrada.
The FDA approval of Lemtrada is a significant milestone for people living with relapsing MS in the United States,” said Dr. Timothy Coetzee, Chief Advocacy, Services and Research Officer at the National MS Society. “We are pleased that the voices of the MS community have been recognized and that people with relapsing MS will now have access to a new, needed treatment option.”
Lemtrada has a unique dosing and administration schedule of two annual treatment courses. The first treatment course is administered via intravenous infusion on five consecutive days, and the second course is administered on three consecutive days, 12 months later.
The most common side effects of Lemtrada are rash, headache, pyrexia, nasopharyngitis, nausea, urinary tract infection, fatigue, insomnia, upper respiratory tract infection, herpes viral infection, urticaria, pruritus, thyroid gland disorders, fungal infection, arthralgia, pain in extremity, back pain, diarrhea, sinusitis, oropharyngeal pain, paresthesia, dizziness, abdominal pain, flushing, and vomiting. Other serious side effects associated with Lemtrada include autoimmune thyroid disease, autoimmune cytopenias, infections and pneumonitis.
First approved in September 2013 in the European Union, Lemtrada is approved in more than 40 countries. Additional marketing applications for Lemtrada are under review by regulatory agencies around the world.

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Multiple Sclerosis Stems from Immune System, Not Nervous System

The genetic starting point for autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes may be TK, according to a study published in Nature on October 29, 2014.  

A multifaceted team of researchers developed a new mathematical formula to scour existing DNA databases in order to determine why inherited DNA variations contribute to disease. The sequencing techniques they developed examined epigenetic characteristics of specialized immune cells. Previously, the researchers had used a similar tool to study 21 different autoimmune diseases, and they were able to apply that method to the current project. 

The researchers probed 39 genome-wide association studies (GWAS) – which each enlist thousands of participants – to identify DNA blocks implicated in genetic factors for diseases. GWAS rarely point to altered proteins, however. The researchers believe this is because only a few protein-encoding gene variants with these DNA codes have been investigated, let alone associated with autoimmune disease. 

Investigators found the presence of specific gene variants differ among autoimmune diseases, which can further alter the functional ability of the immune system. This remained true even though the genetic variants are not within genes.   

The majority of DNA changes related to autoimmune diseases occurred in the section of DNA known as “enhancers.” The enhancers of DNA – which is typically shaped in stringy molecules – allow DNA to fold so the various proteins can interact with each other. The enhancers also allow the bending of DNA to activate switches that can turn on specific genes. The enhancers the researchers identified as essential to DNA interaction had not been previously thought to have any functional role.   - 

“Once again, research is revealing new meaning in the world of DNA once thought of as junk — short, seemingly random DNA sequences that in fact serve meaningful roles in human physiology,” Alex Marson, MD, PhD, the corresponding author for the study, said in a press release. 

- See more at: http://www.hcplive.com/articles/Multiple-Sclerosis-Stems-from-Immune-System-Not-Nervous-System#sthash.NepbNPou.dpuf

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Patients Report Increased Quality of Life After Including Lifestyle and Alternative Medicine Approaches in Their Treatment Plan

Dr. Allen Bowling Outlines New Integrative Approach to Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Treatment

New York, New York (PRWEB) November 13, 2014
Allen Bowling, MD, PhD, internationally renowned neurologist and specialist in lifestyle and alternative medicine, encourages MS patients to consider lifestyle and unconventional medical approaches to achieve better health and well-being.
“Three big areas that are often neglected are exercise, diet, and personal well-being,” says Dr. Bowling. “These areas are especially important for optimal health because they may impact the disease process of MS, MS symptoms, and also other medical conditions that may adversely affect MS.”
In his new book, "Optimal Health with Multiple Sclerosis," Dr. Bowling outlines his ‘Seven Step Approach’ to integrating lifestyle, alternative, and conventional medicine and he explains over 50 safe and effective lifestyle strategies that may help optimize health and quality of life, including simple diet and exercise tips, as well as the benefits of dietary supplements and herbs.
Dr. Bowling explains, “Some of these methods empower people by allowing them to use their body's own resources for therapeutic effects. For example, exercise in conventional as well as unconventional forms, such as tai chi, yoga, and Pilates, may improve multiple MS symptoms and may even impede the disease process itself. Dietary approaches such as vitamin D and generally healthful eating may also improve multiple symptoms and possibly slow down the disease.”
Dr. Bowling offers an unbiased, reliable approach that people with MS, friends, family, and health care professionals need to design a unique and individualized treatment plan that is effective and manageable.
“The first year after diagnosis can be especially overwhelming emotionally, so it’s important to develop a treatment plan and also take the time to process these emotions,” encourages Dr. Bowling.
“Over time, one can work with a knowledgeable clinician to really develop a broad-based approach that incorporates conventional, lifestyle, and unconventional approaches that are best-suited for the individual.”
Dr. Bowling’s new book, "Optimal Health with Multiple Sclerosis: A Guide to Integrating Lifestyle, Alternative, and Conventional Medicine," was published this month by Demos Health Publishing, LLC.

Continue reading

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

MS… Trying to Explain: What’s it like?

By Ashley Ringstaff—October 24, 2014

Have you been asked ‘What it’s like’ to have MS before? I have… and it’s really not very easy to explain… not one explanation can be used for all of us diagnosed since we all differ symptom wise and such.
I usually start off by explaining what MS is and how it attacks. Using the ‘wire’ reference… with the wire coating to explain the myelin sheath. The wire under the coating is our ‘nerve’.
So what is it like to live with MS? That is a very complicated question to answer… because the symptoms themselves are hard to explain. So I have made a little ‘list’ that I can send my friends that ask me the, “what’s it like” question.
  • No matter how much I sleep, I’m still going to be tired throughout the day. However, even though I suffer from Fatigue, I can’t go to sleep very easily at night. This can be caused by pain and/or insomnia.
  • When I’m experiencing ‘nerve pain’. This does not correlate to the common phrase “my nerves are shot”. This means by nerves are actually causing me physical pain or discomfort. I suffer from a burning feeling, and sometimes the area that is burning turns red and is hot to the touch, but not always. Nerve pain can also just be flat out annoying, with less pain involved. Like a numbing/tingling feeling, sort of like when your foot falls asleep.
  • When I say I’m having an “MS Moment”, that means exactly what I said. My MS is causing me to have a ‘moment’ where I can’t get the words out that I want to say or I forgot what I was talking about or wanted to say all together. This can also be described as Cog-Fog aka Cognitive Dysfunction.
  • Why I can’t walk long distances… Because I have foot-drop on my right foot. Not very noticeable… I didn’t even notice it until I saw my neuro and did “the walk” and they noted my right leg was swinging out to compensate for my foot-drop, which is caused by weakness.
  • Why do I have to check the weather before making plans, even if it’s grocery shopping? Well that’s because the weather has an affect on my MS and many others with MS as well. Living in Central Texas, I obviously can’t go grocery shopping or to an outside event in the heat of the day when it’s over 100 degrees Fahrenheit.  Not only does the extreme heat make me weak, but it also affects all of the things I’ve listed above like fatiguecognitive functionwalking, etc.
  • Now how do you explain vision problems? This is a hard thing for me to explain, especially if I’m having that stabbing pain behind my (optic neuritis). Things get a bit foggy at times and I’ve actually described it as putting on “beer goggles” when I was in my first big flare up.
This list can go on and on, especially depending on the patient you’re asking. A group of patients may all experience the same ‘symptom’ but they won’t experience it all in the same exact way. Something that I’ve heard a lot is that, it doesn’t really matter how many lesions you might have but what is important is WHERE the lesions you have are at in your CNS (Central Nervous System).
I’ve heard many family members and friends say that I seem to do better and/or look better when it’s during the fall/winter season. And I feel that I am doing better during that time because I do not have to deal with extreme heat.
This blog only covers the “What is MS like?” question and not even all of it. But there is also that question on “How is MS diagnosed?” I think that’s something I can write about at a later time because that’s going to be a lengthy post!
Ashley Ringstaff
 (Ashley was diagnosed with MS two weeks after receiving her degree in Criminal Justice. She is a mother of two little boys and an MS advocate for MSWorld.org & embracing life for what it is and making the most of every day)
Article source: http://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/whats-like/

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Treating MS; What Works for One Doesn’t Work for All

By Matt Allen G—October 27, 2014

When you’re first diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis you’re often plunged into a world of unknowns where scary things are happening to your body. Your thoughts become clouded as you desperately search with tunnel vision for answers and some means of stopping your symptoms that have so rudely interrupted your life. Finally you find something that works; your symptoms let up and it’s like a burst of fresh air that blows away the clouds in your mind that have been hiding all logical thinking. Your life begins to move forward again and you naturally attribute (perhaps rightfully so) this to whatever medication/treatment you have found. This is where the problem arises; some people begin to preach this newfound medication/treatment as the cure-all for MS.
For those of you with MS who have been living a healthy and steady life on a medication, you may have run into this. You bump into someone who claims the “cure” is whatever medication or treatment they are on and what ever you are on just so happens to be dangerous for reasons X, Y, and Z. Clearly they are right though because look at what it has done for them! The medication you are on did not work for them so your medication is just some sort of scam! Does this not bug you? Tell me it does not drive you mad!
What I try to explain to people is that “MS patients are like snowflakes; no two are alike”. The disease affects us all differently and what makes symptoms worse for one person may not have any affect on another. Just the same, what helps one person might not do a thing for another. We are all different. There is no “one size fits all” treatment for Multiple Sclerosis. Everyone has to discover theirindividual regimen that stops their disease from progressing and improves their quality of life. Some people swear that CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency) is the cause of Multiple Sclerosis. The treatment for CCSVI is the only way to improve (or cure as some claim) Multiple Sclerosis, yet many people have undergone this treatment with no positive results what so ever. Similar claims have been associated with dieting, various pills, and of course DMD’s (disease modifying drugs).
These are just a few of the many examples but let me be clear; I am not saying that none of those things work. What I am trying to say is that if something works for you, understand that it does just that; it works for you. It’s not going to work for everyone. Tysabri and Acthar (ACTH) have changed my life whereas I know that those very medications do nothing for other people, in fact, they may even have caused them harm. So you will never hear me say “Tysabri works”, instead I say “Tysabri works for me” because I know it’s such an individual solution.
Look at it this way; there are so many religious beliefs and you have chosen to follow one. It’s a very personal decision right? Some religions (or maybe all) just don’t work for you but you have found one set of beliefs does that does; it works for you. Everyone has their own belief system that works forthem and though many others may share that with them not everyone does. Are you seeing how this analogy ties to MS treatments so far? Now imagine this; you have found your own religion, what works for you, and then someone comes along and claims they have “the right” religion for reasons X, Y, and Z. Would you not be offended?
We all know our own bodies best and we all know what makes us feel best. If you feel that the cold (for example) helps your MS don’t criticize those who say it hinders theirs (or vice versa).  If you know that a treatment has changed your life and someone else claims that very treatment does not do anything, simply tell them that we are all different instead of arguing about it. There are medications I take that I am sure don’t actually improve my symptoms but if it psychosomatically makes me feel better I am going to take it. I won’t preach any of my crazy “beliefs” but instead I will tell people “this is what helps me”. If I discover a medication that really does improve my symptoms (without a shadow of a doubt) I will still tell people “this is what works for me” because I am well aware that what works for one does not work for all. I see so much arguing online because people do not realize this fact. If we could all take the time to understand this, there not only would be less negativity among the MS community but we would be able to better treat the disease because everyone’s MS responds to a different mechanism of action, not just one.
What works for one does not work for all.

Profile Photo

Matt was diagnosed with MS in 2010 at the age of 20, and has become an active member in the MS community, in particular with his blog MattMS.com. Matt is an avid traveller and photographer who recently relocated from Southern California to Colorado.

Source: http://multiplesclerosis.net/living-with-ms/treating-works-one-doesnt-work/ 

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Tips For Managing Muscle Spasms & Cramping

By Editorial Team
MS is often associated with a variety of pain syndromes including both acute and chronic types of pain.  Primary pain results from disease related damage to the Central Nervous System.  Although secondary pain syndromes are not directly attributed to MS lesions, symptoms can be equally frustrating.
One of the most discussed symptoms in the MultipleSclerosis.Net community is spasticity, which includes muscle spasms or cramps.  We decided to ask our Facebook community how they deal with muscle cramps. Here’s what they had to share:
Food & Drink: 
  • Eating rainbow vegetables of colors help (Like green, orange, yellow, red). I mix cooked Jasmine rice with Sweet potato, sweet carrot, spinach, red yellow and orange peppers, garlic cloves. You can use canned, just be sure to drain the juice because of the preservatives.
  • Muscle cramps can be helped by adding potassium: Melon is a good source. This organic, unfiltered apple cider vinegar made into a drink is also very helpful
  • Eat bananas and broccoli 
  • Potassium, hydrate with an electrolyte. I exercise outside in the heat quite a bit, so I make sure I have Gatorade, or Nuun. Hammer makes a product called Endurolytes as well.
  • Drink healthy teas. 
  • Gatorade (as long as the cramps are not bad), soma for bad cramping 
  • Stay hydrated! 
  • Pickle juice is great…Old natural remedy
  • I have had severe leg cramps and drinking tonic water mixed with juice seems to help!
  • I have horrible muscle cramps, and my new miracle drug is tonic water. It is the quinine in the tonic water that makes them go away. Diet tonic is horrible, go for the real stuff.
  • For the Dysesthesias that can involve a girdle band-like pressure, drink any hot liquid. This causes me severe sudden pain and this is the only way that I can get relief but it helps instantly 
Stretching & Massage 
  • Stretching exercises 
  • Regular walking
  • I just have to put my foot, of the limb that’s cramping flat, and stretch.
  • My balance is so off so yoga isn’t possible so I made up my own type of yoga. It helps a lot…and sometimes a warm bath helps too.
  • I get up and do push-ups with my feet while standing in the doorway to my bathroom. I also add arm push ups just because I’m there and it’s a perfect time to do it…
  • For bad pain make a massage oil from 2 tea bags and 1/2 cup of canola oil that has been sitting in the sun for a day either out-side or on windowsill. You can use whatever teabags you want. For pain I like peppermint.
  • Flexeril 
  • For muscle spasms the Avonex shot I get seems to tame them
  • I take magnesium twice a day; it has helped quite a bit!
  • Started on muscle relaxers and they are gone for the most part.
  • Cannabis helps 
  • Dr gave me a prescription for medicine called Zanaflex and Baclofen and at bedtime Klonopin
  • My doctor just put me on Valium since mine were waking me up all night.
  • I take a muscle relaxer every 4hrs and at night 
Lifestyle & Meditation
  • When the body says enough. Then it is enough. If you do not get it done today it will still be there tomorrow.
  • Get enough rest to prevent cramps 
  • Deep breathing cut them out completely for me. Concentrating on the place where the muscle is cramping (especially the legs), deep in breath, hold it, slow out breath, repeat as necessary.
  • I just meditate and they usually drift away.
Hot/Cold Therapy
  • When I do get cramps in my legs and hands heat packs are the only things that help. I have several of those microwave bean-bags
  • Don’t let your legs get cold in bed – Keep them cozy and warm
  • I use Voltaren cream and ice packs and heating pads alternate them it helps a lot
  • An ice pack to the area. I have those refreeze-able ice packs that can wrap around my leg. Within a short time the cramp is gone.


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Use of Del-1 Protein Reduces Multiple Sclerosis Severity in Mouse Study

Del-1 protein and MSPosted by: Patricia Inacio, PhD   November 12, 2014
In a study entitled “Developmental endothelial locus-1 is a homeostatic factor in the central nervous system limiting neuroinflammation and demyelination” the authors report to have found a new protein, Del-1, that reduces the severity of multiple sclerosis disease in a mouse model of the disease. The study was published in theMolecular Psychiatry journal.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease that affects the central nervous system. Currently without any cure, MS affects more than 2.3 million people across the globe. The disease is characterized by destruction of the myelin layer within nerve cells leading to a wide range of neurological symptoms affecting visual, motor, and sensory capabilities.
In this study, a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and colleagues discovered that the protein Del-1 (developmental endothelial locus-1), previously identified by the team as an endogenous anti-inflammatory factor, is also highly expressed in the brain. In light of their previous results when studying Del-1 function in periodontitis, the authors hypothesized Del-1 could prevent inflammation in the central nervous tissue. When they analyzed brain tissue from deceased MS patients, they found Del-1 expression was reduced when compared to healthy brain tissue.
In mice models for human MS, termed experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), the authors found decreased expression of Del-1 in n the spinal cords of these mice. The researchers performed further studies and found that mice lacking Del-1 exhibited more severe attacks of the EAE accompanied by more damage to myelin when compared to healthy mice. Moreover, these mice had increased penetration of inflammatory cells in their spinal cords due to higher levels of IL-17, a pro inflammatory cytokine predominantly produced by activated T cells. When these mice were treated with Del-1, the authors observed no more EAE attacks.

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MS resources in Australia

New 'Driving' and 'Heat' MS resources

You've told us what information is important to you so the team at MS Queensland have released two new resources to our online resource centreDriving with MS in Queensland and Understanding and Managing Heat in MS.
To access either of these resources, as well as many other PDF documents on important topics for people living with MS, click here.
For more information about any of these resources, or to have a copy mailed or emailed to you, please email us at info@msqld.org.au or call our InfoLine on 1800 177 591.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Information on Biogen's recently approved PLEGRIDY(TM)

Looking for more information about PLEGRIDY?

At this time, we are helping to make sure your doctor has the necessary information to answer your questions about PLEGRIDY™ (peginterferon beta-1a). As soon as additional information is available for people living with relapsing MS, we will post it here. Come back to this website for updates or register, and we’ll let you know when more is available.

Need help paying for PLEGRIDY?*

Many people taking PLEGRIDY are eligible to enroll in the $0 Copay Program from Biogen Idec and pay $0 a month.

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Obesity May Help Cause Multiple Sclerosis; Vitamin D Might Help Treat It

obesity and MSA team of researchers at the Tel Aviv University report the role of obesity as a major risk factor triggering and maintaining autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s Disease and multiple sclerosis. The study was published in Autoimmunity Reviews.
In autoimmune diseases, the immune system reacts against the body — a condition that is estimated to affect 5 to 20% of the global population. Obesity, the authors report, is a condition that disrupts the body homeostasis leading to a hyper-reactive state that determines the onset of autoimmune diseases and, by generating a pro-inflammatory state, it supports its further development.
Prof. Yehuda Shoenfeld, the Laura Schwarz-Kipp Chair for Research of Autoimmune Diseases at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and Head of Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases at Chaim Sheba Medical Center, Tel Hashomer noted, “We’ve been aware of a long list of causes of autoimmune disorders – infections, smoking, pesticides, lack of vitamins, and so forth. But in last five years, a new factor has emerged that cannot be ignored: obesity. According to the World Health Organization, approximately 35% of the global community is overweight or obese, and more than ten autoimmune diseases are known to be associated with increased weight. So it’s critical to investigate obesity’s involvement in the pathology of such diseases.”

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Researchers identify key protein that can reduce severity of disease equivalent to MS in mice

November 12, 2014
In multiple sclerosis, the immune system goes rogue, improperly attacking the body's own central nervous system. Mobility problems and cognitive impairments may arise as the nerve cells become damaged.

In a new study, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and co-investigators have identified a key protein that is able to reduce the severity of a disease equivalent to MS in mice. This molecule, Del-1, is the same regulatory protein that has been found to prevent inflammation and bone loss in a mouse model of gum disease.

"We see that two completely different disease entities share a common pathogenic mechanism," said George Hajishengallis, a professor of microbiology in Penn's School of Dental Medicine and an author on the study. "And in this case that means that they can even share therapeutic targets, namely Del-1."

Because Del-1 has been found to be associated with susceptibility to not only multiple sclerosis, but also Alzheimer's, it's possible that a properly functioning version of this protein might help guard again that disease's effects as well.

Penn contributors to the study included Hajishengallis, Penn Dental Medicine postdoctoral researcher Kavita Hosur and Khalil Bdeir, a research associate professor at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine. They collaborated with senior author Triantafyllos Chavakis of Germany's Technical University Dresden and researchers from South Korea's University of Ulsan College of Medicine and other institutions. The work appears online in the journal Molecular Psychiatry.
In earlier studies, Hajishengallis, Chavakis and colleagues found that Del-1 acts as a gatekeeper that thwarts the movement and accumulation of immune cells like neutrophils, reducing inflammation. While neutrophils are needed to effectively respond to infection or injury, when too many of them accumulate in a tissue, the resulting inflammation can itself be damaging.

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