Mayo Clinic Develops Test to Distinguish Other Demyelinating Diseases from MS

Mayo Clinic Develops Test to Distinguish Other Demyelinating Diseases from MS

The Mayo Clinic has developed a test that allows doctors to distinguish other inflammatory demyelinating diseases from multiple sclerosis in the early stages of a disorder.

The test, the first of its kind in the United States, looks for an antibody against a protein known as myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein in the blood. Loss of the protein is associated with inflammatory demyelinating diseases, whose name stems from loss of the myelin protein sheath that protects nerve cells.

In addition to MS, the disorders include optic neuritis, neuromyelitis optica, acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, and acute transverse myelitis.

In previous studies, researchers have found myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies in demyelinating disorders besides MS. The glycoprotein, which is found in both myelin-producing cells and the myelin sheath, is believed to play an important role in creating the sheath. Antibodies are proteins the immune system produces to fight foreign substances called antigens.

Mayo Clinic scientists have linked myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein antibodies to relapses of demyelinating diseases.

“While many IDDs [inflammatory demyelinating diseases] that mimic multiple sclerosis are rare, correct and early diagnosis allows for early immunotherapy with immunosuppressants, rather than disease-modifying agents that are commonly used in treating MS,” Dr. Sean Pittock, co-director of the Mayo Clinic’s neuroimmunology laboratory, said in a press release.

“And, more important, some MS treatments have been reported to worsen the disease of patients diagnosed with an IDD that is not classical MS,” he added.

The new test not only distinguishes other demyelinating diseases from MS, but can also help predict a disorder that will relapse, or return.

6 comments

  1. Diane C Randall says:

    I did not know there are other demyelinating diseases; my concern is the following:
    “‘And, more important, some MS treatments have been reported to worsen the disease of patients diagnosed with an IDD that is not classical MS,’ he added.”
    I will ask my neurologist about this, as I have just started on Copaxone after 11 years of PPMS. I question whether this drug is doing any good, or if it will. I worry about its side effects. Now, I have to question if it’s causing more harm! Thank you for this article and information!

    • Linda Pasini says:

      I thought Copaxone was for RRMS. Have you heard of the Biotin protocol, look it up, doesn’t work for everyone but for some there have been fabulous results. May you need a new neurologist that is more on top of the latest research. Good luck and God Bless you.

  2. carol says:

    I had dermal and airway exposure to phenol and have a combination of MS and Alzheimer’s symptoms. Excited to take this blood test because my scans show nothing, but one of my diagnosis is optical neuritis, and one of the mechanisms of action of phenol is to precipitate the calcium out of the myelin sheath, shrinking it up and exposing the neuron. I wonder if I have actual degradation of the sheath?

  3. Heidi Dorworth says:

    My daughter was recently diagnosed with MS from an MRI and 6 legions on her brain. Do you think that there is a possibility that if she insists on this test…it might be mimicking something else and not MS??? Thank you…worried and sick Mom.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *