Mês: setembro 2016

EM = MS

Predicting long-term disability in MS Australian researchers aim to predict future worsening of disability in people with relapse-onset MS Last updated: 28th September 2016   If a neurologist could tell a person with MS, as soon as they are diagnosed, what their disease will look like after a few years, together they would be able to decide on treatment options earlier in the disease before disability occurs. Australian researchers at the University of Melbourne looked at records from more than 2,000 people with relapsing-remitting onset MS, who they had followed over 10 years. They used information from the clinic and the MS drugs that these people had received to see whether they can predict future worsening of disability over a decade later. They found that early treatment of MS can prevent future disability, and that more attacks earlier in MS disease course is associated with future disability. They also found that pregnancy has strong long-term therapeutic effects. For example, people who were pregnant at least once during their first 10 years with MS, had less disability at the end of the decade. Researchers can learn from hormonal changes during pregnancy to develop new drugs. This study also underlines the importance of early treatment in MS. Read the full article (external website opens in a new window)   See the...

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EM = MS

Mitoxantrone and risk of cancer in MS German study asks whether recipients of mitoxantrone are more likely than the general population to develop cancers Last updated: 28th September 2016   Mitoxantrone is a chemotherapy drug that is sometimes used in MS as a disease modifying drug to reduce the number of relapses a person is experiencing. Mitoxantrone appears to work by suppressing the body’s immune system for the period of treatment, depleting the number of cells that are attacking the myelin around nerves. This effectively gives the body a chance to ‘restart’ and sort out what has gone wrong with the immune system. As mitoxantrone suppresses the immune system, the white blood cell count is likely to fall, making the recipient more prone to infections. In this study, German researchers from the University of Würzburg looked at the records of 677 people with MS who had been treated with mitoxantrone in their department over 13 years and asked whether these people were more likely than the general population to develop cancers. Their data showed that the risk of any cancer was only mildly increased, however, the risk of leukaemia and colorectal carcinoma was higher in people who received mitoxantrone than the general population. Authors suggest that lower gastrointestinal examinations, such as colonoscopy, should be included in assessments for people with MS who receive mitoxantrone. Mitoxantrone, however, may still be...

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EM = MS

A new gene target for progressive MS A mutation in a gene called NR1H3 could increase the risk of progressive MS Last updated: 28th September 2016   A complex, and yet unknown, interaction between nature and nurture (genetics and environment) causes MS. While most people with MS may have no family history of MS, in rare cases we can see an unusual pattern  of MS in families. This underlines the role of genes in causing MS. Researchers from the University of British Columbia, in Vancouver, Canada looked at the records of 2,053 people with MS and 755 healthy controls. They selected two families, from which they studied 7 people with severe and progressive MS. They found that a mutation in a gene called NR1H3 could increase the risk of progressive MS. If other researchers can replicate these findings, this may lead to the development of effective treatments targeting the biological pathways associated with this gene in people with the highly debilitating and currently untreatable progressive phase of MS. Read the full article (external website opens in a new window)   See the...

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EM = MS

Effects of an immune system gene on MS subtypes and MRI HLA alleles are found to be associated with brain atrophy and a younger age of MS onset in women Last updated: 28th September 2016   A specific area on a human chromosome has shown weak to moderate association with the risk of a person being affected by MS. This area belongs to a gene complex involved in the immune system, known as human leukocyte antigen (HLA). HLA plays important roles in the normal functioning of the immune system, and in diseases where the immune system attacks the body (autoimmune diseases). We still don’t know whether these genes have distinct effects in different type of MS (MS subtypes), or on MRI. Researchers from the Multiple Sclerosis Center at the University of California, San Francisco looked at 652 people with relapsing-remitting and progressive MS, and found that these HLA alleles were associated with more brain shrinkage on MRI, and a younger age of MS onset in women, but not men. The findings confirm and extend previous findings on HLA, and suggest that HLA may also be associated with changes on MRI. Read the full article (external website opens in a new window)   See the...

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EM = MS

Stem cell treatment halts MS progression Rebooting immune system provides long term relief for aggressive relapsing MS in Canadian study Last updated: 28th September 2016   The immune system is essential for life and defends the body from invaders. MS symptoms are the result of disordered immune cells attacking the brain or the spine. Therefore, most MS drugs modify or suppress the destructive immune system. A more aggressive option for people who do not respond to available treatments is to completely wipe out and then “reboot” the immune system. Researchers have previously used powerful drugs to remove all the immune cells with varying outcomes. Since life without an immune system is not possible, a normal immune system should be restored after this treatment. This can be achieved by re-injecting the cells that can produce immune cells (such as bone marrow stem cells). Canadian researchers have published long-term follow-up results from a group of 24 people with aggressive relapsing remitting MS who were treated using Autologous Haematopoietic Stem Cell Treatment (AHSCT) to reboot their immune systems. The individuals in this study presented with highly inflammatory MS with frequent relapses that did not respond to available disease modifying therapies. The procedure used in this study involved the complete destruction of the immune system (known as immunoablation) using intensive chemotherapy with busulphan and cyclophosphamide. This was followed by reinfusion of the patients’...

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