New means of controlling multiple sclerosis uncovered

Scientific Developments/Breakthroughs

New research into cellular functions has uncovered a potential new means of controlling the effects of multiple sclerosis (MS).

Research led by the University of Adelaide has found that modification of a molecule known as PI3Kgamma, which is involved in the activation and movement of white blood cells, can be used to minimise inflammation associated with the disease.

The molecule has been shown to be crucial for the development of experimental autoimmune encephalitis, meaning that knocking it out can protect against the nervous system damage typical of multiple sclerosis.

Dr Iain Comerford, a Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia Fellow at the University of Adelaide, said: "Our hope is that future therapies for MS might target this molecule, which could very specifically dampen the damaging inflammation in the central nervous system."

Currently, it is estimated that around 100,000 people in the UK are living with MS, with symptoms of the disease usually developing between the ages of 15 and 45.

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