London scientists have made a breakthrough fighting the scourge of multiple sclerosis, fine-tuning MRIs to detect the disease before it ravages its victims.
“This could be a real game-changer,” said Dr. Bruce Bebo, who this year will decide how to invest $50 million in research raised by the National MS Society in the United States.
Bebo marvelled Thursday from afar at the work of a London research team headed by Dr. Ravi Menon that’s aimed at what has been an elusive target — finding and treating MS before it causes physical and cognitive impairment.
The challenge is especially pressing in Canada, where MS rates are the highest in the world — nine times higher than the world average.
Neurologists have long used MRIs to diagnose MS by showing damage to the protective sheath that insulates the body’s central nervous system.
Now, London researchers have fine-tuned a high-powered MRI to actually measure the amount of damage to that protective sheath —called myelin — as well as the deposits of iron typically found with the disease.
The team from Western University perfected the scans first on rats in a study published this month in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
“It’s a huge step (forward),” Menon told The Free Press.
They then tested it on people, and though that study won’t be published until January, preliminary data showed that damage might be pinpointed
long before patients are traditionally diagnosed, potentially before they had suffered any ill effects.
“It’s really the holy grail, being able to track myelin,” Bebo said.
Though it’s not practical or affordable to screen everyone for MS using an MRI, research is underway to identify those most at risk from the disease. Some day, that work might lead to simpler tests such as a blood test to find those more at-risk who could then be scanned before the onset of symptoms, Bebo said.
In the meantime, more precise MRIs may help people already being treated for the disease with conventional drugs that suppress their immune system — it’s the immune system that attacks the myelin.
That treatment is by trial and error: If patients continue to deteriorate, doctors switch medications. Menon’s MRIs might help doctors switch away from failing medications before the damage occurs, Bebo said.
New research is aimed at reversing the damage to myelin, a task that may deliver even greater benefit if MS is discovered early, he said.
The Latest on: Multiple sclerosis
via Google News
The Latest on: Multiple sclerosis
- Understanding the Patient Factors Linked to Fatigue in Multiple Sclerosison April 10, 2021 at 5:05 am
The advent of both new diagnostic criteria and treatments have necessitated a reevaluation of fatigue among individuals who have multiple sclerosis, investigators say.
- Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Drug Market 2021 Current and Future Trend Scenario Explored In New Latest Research Report By 2027on April 9, 2021 at 12:30 am
The latest report as Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis Drug Market acknowledges Size, Application Segment, Type, Regional Outlook, Market Demand, Latest Trends, and Secondary Progressive ...
- Oklahoma researchers studying brain cancer make potential key finding in fight against Multiple Sclerosison April 8, 2021 at 4:01 pm
It’s a tough one,” said Bob Axtell, PhD., who studies M.S. at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation, where experts unexpectedly made a big find in the fight against the disease while studying brain ...
- Gene expression profiles of YAP1, TAZ, CRB3, and VDR in familial and sporadic multiple sclerosis among an Iranian populationon April 8, 2021 at 3:43 pm
Blood samples were obtained from patients referred to the MS clinic of Kashani Hospital, affiliated with Isfahan University of Medical Sciences between June 2018 and September 2019, and were collected ...
- Epidemiology, treatment patterns and healthcare utilizations in multiple sclerosis in Taiwanon April 8, 2021 at 10:44 am
Real-world” data on the nationwide epidemiology and treatment patterns of multiple sclerosis (MS) is very scarce in Asia. This study is aim to evaluate the 10-years trends in epidemiology and ...
- Multiple sclerosis and the flu: Risk factors and moreon April 7, 2021 at 12:00 pm
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) should try to take extra precautions to prevent the flu. These precautions include avoiding people who are sick and getting an annual flu shot. Share on Pinterest ...
- UCL scientists use AI to identify three new multiple sclerosis subtypeson April 6, 2021 at 5:00 pm
Scientists at UCL have used artificial intelligence (AI) to identify three new multiple sclerosis (MS) subtypes. Researchers say the groundbreaking findings will help identify those people more likely ...
- New multiple sclerosis subtypes identified using artificial intelligenceon April 6, 2021 at 10:00 am
Scientists at UCL have used artificial intelligence (AI) to identify three new multiple sclerosis (MS) subtypes. Researchers say the groundbreaking findings will help identify those people more ...
- Global Multiple Sclerosis Drugs Market Size, Share, Value, And Competitive Landscape 2021 - 2026on April 6, 2021 at 2:33 am
The MarketWatch News Department was not involved in the creation of this content. Apr 05, 2021 (Heraldkeepers) -- This report researches the worldwide Multiple Sclerosis Drugs market size (value) in ...
- Inflammation protection may be critical to treating multiple sclerosison March 30, 2021 at 8:24 am
Prolonging a cellular defense response to inflammation could help regenerate the protective coating of axons that is degraded in diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), according to a ...
via Bing News