Current Trends In Multiple Sclerosis Research
A recent article appearing in Healthcare Professionals Network1 reported a study where the white matter of the brain is not where answers for Multiple Sclerosis will be found. It found that gray matter is the part of the brain that needs to be studied.
According to the study by Steven E. Schutzer, MD, of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, and clinical investigators from Stony Brook University, Uppsala University in Sweden, the University of Szeged in Hungary and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA, cerebrospinal fluid of newly diagnosed patients were compared to those with patients having relapsing-remitting MS, and also to those without MS.
The study suggests that, “CSF is “an important body fluid to examine in MS because recent evidence suggests cell processing within the central nervous system (CNS) is a crucial component to the damage process … (and) CSF is known to reflect the CNS microenvironment.”
Co-author Patricia Coyle, Director of the MS Comprehensive Care Center at Stony Brook University stated, “Evidence that gray matter may be the critical initial target in MS rather than white matter” means “patients who suffer attacks that appear related to MS could have their CSF tested quickly, (and) if proteins that point to early MS are found, helpful therapy could begin at once, before the disease can progress further.”
Is this something new to look forward to? Should we place hope this may be a key to unlock answers to what MS is?
New directions in research, ones we read about every day, are taking place and giving us new hope.
Research institutions worldwide are scrambling to find answers for better medications and procedures, ones that won’t leave us feeling sick from side effects or, even worse, afraid of repercussions.
Others are digging deeper into the causes of MS.
Our hope is once they find the cause, it will finally lead to a cure.
Here are the current trends in MS research:
- Investigations into heterogeneity (genetics) and the cause (pathogenesis) of MS, such as inflammation, infection or tissue breakdown.
- More effective and tolerable medications for RRMS, and the creation of medications for more progressive MS.
- Preservation of neurons (neuroprotection) to prevent or slow the progression of the disease.
- Better medications to treat symptoms of the disease.
- More oral medications, with existing ones being researched to develop a more tolerable and easier-to-use form.
- Monoclonal antibodies, such Natalizumab, to treat MS in the early stages to delay or prevent early onset of progression. Currently, the risks of monoclonal antibodies far outweighs the benefits. More studies needs to be performed.
- Stem cell therapy.
- CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency).
There is just a partial list of what is currently being studied, and of course there are alternative treatments as well.
The future gives us hope and I, along with you, will wait to see what happens.
How do you feel about your current MS treatment? If you do not follow any traditional medicine, what is working for you?
How well do people around you understand MS?