Washington: University of Nottingham scientists have discovered a molecular mechanism, which could bring about the development of new treatments for Multiple Sclerosis (MS) — a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system.
The discovery was made by Bruno Gran, a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Clinical Neurology in the School of Clinical Sciences, in collaboration with Professor Paul Moynagh from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth.
They found a synthetic chemical compound that inhibits the pro-inflammatory signals produced by the immune system in MS.
What makes this chemical unique is that at the same time, it stimulates the body to produce interferon-beta, an anti-inflammatory molecule, which is commonly given to patients as an injected drug to treat MS.
Together, these effects cause significant reduction in the severity of an animal model of MS.
The researchers have also discovered that cells of the immune system obtained from the blood of people with MS are more sensitive to the effects of this drug than those obtained from people who do not have MS.