MS News that Caught My Eye Last Week: Remyelination, Predicting SPMS, Switching DMTs, MS and a Virus
Chemical that Stimulates Estrogen Receptors Seen to Promote Myelin Repair Through ‘Good’ Inflammation in Mouse MS Model
Caution: This is only a mouse study. However, anything that might repair the damaged myelin of people with MS catches my eye. In this case, researchers are building on earlier work indicating that this chemical can improve motor function, promote remyelination, and ease inflammation. This study suggests that the chemical can also encourage “good” inflammation that protects cells that are involved in remyelination.
A chemical compound called indazole chloride promotes repair of myelin, the protective layer of nerve fibers, through “beneficial” inflammation in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis (MS), a study reports.
The preclinical research, “Increase in chemokine CXCL1 by ERβ ligand treatment is a key mediator in promoting axon myelination,” was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Many of us who begin our MS with the relapsing form of the disease eventually progress to secondary progressive. There hasn’t been a good method of predicting who will move from RRMS to SPMS, or when, but this study has discovered some “markers” that may provide a way to make that determination.
Age at disease onset, number of early relapses, and the extent of brain damage at baseline can help identify those who are at high risk of progression from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis into the secondary progressive phase of the disease, a new study shows.
The study with that finding, “The cortical damage, early relapses, and onset of the progressive phase in multiple sclerosis,” was published in the journal Neurology.
Some neurologists take a “wait-and-see” approach regarding the latest disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) after a patient has been diagnosed with MS. Others want to jump quickly with the more aggressive DMTs. I have a friend who’s had MS for about 15 years and has done well with less aggressive treatment. On the other hand, I’m a proponent of an aggressive approach. Now, researchers are enrolling MS patients in a study that hopes to shed some light on which approach is better. (A link to information about study enrollment is included in this article).
A Johns Hopkins University-initiated clinical trial is starting to enroll an estimated 900 relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) patients to assess the benefits of switching therapies to prevent or reduce disability.
The TREAT-MS study (NCT03500328) will evaluate whether RRMS patients with disease activity while on a traditional first-line disease-modifying therapy — including injectable and oral medications — should switch to another similar treatment or start on a more aggressive infusion therapy. These treatments, while considered more effective, can have more and more serious side effects.
There’s regular discussion in MS circles (including some in our MS Forums section) about how much of a role a virus may play in causing a disease such as MS. This study looks at a specific virus that may play a part in whether someone develops MS.
Infection with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus triggers expression of a factor called TOX in immune cells strengthening their migration into the brain and promoting damaging effects, including inflammation and tissue destruction.
These findings represent a new piece of the puzzle about the mechanism underlying autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS).
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