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Promising Diagnostic Tools For Multiple Sclerosis Developed At Yale

Date:
September 21, 2005
Source:
Yale University
Summary:
Yale School of Medicine researchers have identified three rapid diagnostic methods that can target antibodies commonly found in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, greatly improving potential diagnosis and treatment.
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Yale School of Medicine researchers have identified three rapiddiagnostic methods that can target antibodies commonly found inmultiple sclerosis (MS) patients, greatly improving potential diagnosisand treatment.

The team reports their findings in this week's Proceedings of theNational Academies of Science. MS is a crippling neurological diseaseresulting from damage to myelin insulation surrounding nerve fibers,and to nerve fibers themselves. MS symptoms can include muscle weaknessor paralysis, loss of vision, loss of coordination, fatigue, pain andmemory loss. There is currently no cure for MS. Existing medicationsand treatments help manage symptoms, slow down or modify diseaseprogression.

Although anti-myelin antibodies are often found in MSpatients, the diagnostic value of these molecules that respond toinfection are limited because they are also found in patients withoutMS, making it difficult to determine their role in the development ofthe disease. In addition, MS patients might generate anti-myelinantibody responses that reflect, rather than cause, the disease.

To address this diagnostic challenge, Nancy H. Ruddle, theJohn Rodman Paul Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health andImmunobiology at Yale School of Medicine, and her team developed mousemodels to find ways to distinguish between antibodies that cause MSfrom those that are present in MS patients but do not cause diseasesymptoms.

The team, including researchers from the University ofConnecticut, developed two ways to induce MS symptoms in mice. Theyfound that though both treatment procedures yield antibodies to myelin,only one method made antibodies that could cause disease in other mice.These antibodies were shown to recognize and interact with a form ofmodified myelin found in MS. This myelin was not recognized with theantibodies that did not cause disease.

"Our results bring us one step closer to pinpointing moreaccurate diagnostic tools to aid in designing treatments for individualMS patients," said Ruddle, who is also Interim Deputy Dean and InterimVice Chair of Epidemiology and Public Health at Yale.

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Other authors on the study include first author, Cecilia B. Marta, Alfred R. Oliver, Rebecca A. Sweet and Steve E. Pfeiffer.

PNAS 102: online week of September 19, 2005; in print on October 4, 2005


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The above post is reprinted from materials provided by Yale University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


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Yale University. "Promising Diagnostic Tools For Multiple Sclerosis Developed At Yale." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 September 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050921080919.htm>.
Yale University. (2005, September 21). Promising Diagnostic Tools For Multiple Sclerosis Developed At Yale. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050921080919.htm
Yale University. "Promising Diagnostic Tools For Multiple Sclerosis Developed At Yale." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/09/050921080919.htm (accessed August 1, 2015).

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