MS is one of the most common, chronic neurologic diseases of adults worldwide, affecting up to 2.5 million people worldwide with 10,000 new diagnoses made each year. MS tends to strike early in adulthood, with women three times more likely than men to be diagnosed. The total direct cost to the US community of MS is just over $28 billion annually.
MS is thought to be caused by the body’s own immune system mistakenly attacking the brain, spinal cord or optic nerves. The primary target of this attack is myelin, the protective coating around the nerve fibres, which carry nerve impulses between nerve cells. These attacks cause active MS lesions, and the nerve cells themselves can also be damaged leading to lifelong disability.
The research team, headed by Dr Steven Petratos, has shown that a modified version of a specific protein is present within active MS lesions in a laboratory model of MS. This modified protein then interacts with another protein to cause nerve fibre damage. The scientists are now proposing a new method to block either the modification or the interaction between the two proteins, to halt disease progression and provide recovery from disability
Updated: 14 February, 2022
Laboratory research that investigates scientific theories behind the possible causes, disease progression, ways to diagnose and better treat MS.
Research that builds on fundamental scientific research to develop new therapies, medical procedures or diagnostics and advances it closer to the clinic.
Clinical research is the culmination of fundamental and translational research turning those research discoveries into treatments and interventions for people with MS.