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Cell discovery gives hope for MS treatment

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Murph, Apr 24, 2017.

  1. Murph

    Murph :)

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    http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/wellbeing/2017/04/24/cell-discovery-hope-ms-treatment/

    A major new discovery has been made towards finding the cause of multiple sclerosis – potentially paving the way for new treatments.

    Scientists have found a new cellular mechanism which may cause the disease and a potential hallmark which could be a target for future treatment of the autoimmune disorder.

    Multiple sclerosis affects around 2.5 million people around the world. Typically, people are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s, and it is more common in women than men.

    Although the cause has so far been a mystery, the disease causes the body’s own immune system to attack myelin – the fatty “sheaths” which protect nerves in the brain and spinal cord.

    This leads to brain damage, a reduction in blood supply and oxygen and the formation of lesions in the body.

    Symptoms can be wide-ranging, and can include muscle spasms, mobility problems, pain, fatigue, and problems with speech.

    cientists have long suspected that mitochondria, the energy-creating “powerhouse” of the cell, plays a link in causing multiple sclerosis.
    Using human brain tissue samples, researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Alberta found a protein called Rab32 is present in large quantities in the brains of people with MS – but is virtually absent in healthy brain cells.

    Where Rab32 is present, the team discovered that a part of the cell which stores calcium gets too close to the mitochondria.

    The resulting miscommunication with the calcium supply triggers the mitochondria to misbehave, ultimately causing toxicity for brain cells in people with MS.

    Researchers do not yet know what causes an unwelcome influx of Rab32 but they believe the defect could originate at the base of the cell.

    The finding will enable scientists to search for effective treatments that target Rab32 and embark on determining whether there are other proteins which could pay a role in triggering MS.

    Professor Paul Eggleton, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said: “Multiple sclerosis can have a devastating impact on people’s lives, affecting mobility, speech, mental ability and more.

    “So far, all medicine can offer is treatment and therapy for the symptoms – as we do not yet know the precise causes, research has been limited.

    “Our exciting new findings have uncovered a new avenue for researchers to explore. It is a critical step, and in time, we hope it might lead to effective new treatments for MS.”

    The research is published in the journal Neuroinflammation.
     
    merylg, Snowdrop, Valentijn and 9 others like this.
  2. Jonathan Edwards

    Jonathan Edwards Senior Member

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    It seems pretty clear from the abstract that the change in Rab32 is an effect of the inflammation, not a a cause. We already have treatments that address immunological cause (contrary to the author's claim) so I am not impressed that this is a very useful approach. Presumably they were using brains from people who had died of MS, so one would expect them to show signs of the effects of inflammation.
     
    merylg, BurnA, Murph and 4 others like this.
  3. Basilico

    Basilico Florida

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    @Murph , thank you for posting this. I hope you don't mind if I get a little rant out of my system :)

    The MS drugs currently available are immune suppressants that have an exceptionally poor track record. Over the years, I've spent countless hours pouring over whatever clinical studies were available to the public, and from what I've read, MS drugs at best reduce flare-ups by 50% in 50% of the people taking them.

    This means that half of people taking any particular drug will have no benefit, while the other half will have a reduction in symptoms by half. Additionally, the side-effects from these drugs is substantial. With the injectables there is commonly necrosis of the flesh at the injection sites, to say nothing of organ damage that requires cyclical breaks in treatments and other side effects like migraines, flu-like symptoms, hair loss, etc...

    I keep up to date with this because not only am I diagnosed with MS, but I have an uncle who is in the late stages of MS, who has taken EVERY MS drug available, and has been enrolled in every clinical trial possible over the years. Not a single one improved his quality of life or prevented him from early disability.

    At this point, as far as I'm aware, no one knows the cause of MS any more than they understand how any of the MS drugs work. Seriously, no one understands by what mechanism the drugs are reducing flare-ups. It is actually still debated whether MS is even an autoimmune disease at all. So the cause is still a mystery. The method of action of the drugs is a mystery. And this is a well-funded highly visible disease with lots of support.

    I love seeing research coming out that seems like scientists are getting closer to some real answers, but I am also profoundly saddened, because I know that no true cure will ever be allowed to be produced by the pharma companies and their lobbyists. There is no money in a cure, however, there is plenty of profit in long term toxic "treatments" that bring marginal improvement, which is what I think we can expect as long as profit dominates the pharmaceutical and health industries.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2017

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