Understanding the role of brain auto-antibodies in MS

Associate Professor Fabienne Brilot

University of Sydney, NSW

| Better treatments | Immunology | Incubator | 2020 | Investigator Led Research |


In addition to MS there are other diseases in which the immune system attacks and damages the optic nerve, brain and spinal cord. It can be challenging when diagnosing these diseases to correctly differentiate between these and MS. It is important to do so, because they have different treatment options. One way to help differentiate these diseases is by measuring “autoantibodies” in the blood. Autoantibodies are antibodies that mistakenly attack the human body instead of foreign invaders.

Autoantibodies that mistakenly attack a protein in the brain call myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG) are a sign that an individual is likely to have neuromyelitis optica spectrum disorder, which has different treatment options then MS.

However an unusual group of MS patients also test positive for MOG antibodies (in certain specialised tests), and this project will find out whether they might be affected by both MS and MOG antibody-associated disorder, and whether their MOG antibodies are different.

This project will help recognition of these patients, their diagnosis, and their treatment.

Updated 21 October 2020

Updated: 21 January, 2020

Stages of the research process

Fundamental laboratory

Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 10+ years

Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.

Lab to clinic timeline: 5+ years
Clinical Studies
and Clinical Trials

Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.

Lab to clinic timeline: 1-5 years

Grant Awarded

  • Incubator Grant

Total Funding

  • $25,000


  • 1 year

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Understanding the role of brain auto-antibodies in MS