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Multiple sclerosis: ‘Guardian molecule’ may lead to new treatment

A male hormone could play a role in the development of multiple sclerosis.

By studying interactions between testosterone and the immune system in male mice, scientists from Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, have discovered a molecule that seems to protect against multiple sclerosis.

In a paper on the findings that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team notes how the “guardian molecule” eliminated symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS) in female mice.

“These findings,” says Melissa A. Brown, a professor of microbiology and immunology, “could lead to an entirely new kind of therapy for MS, which we greatly need.”

MS is a disease in which the immune system attacks myelin, or the protective sheath that surrounds nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord and ensures the integrity of the electrical signals that they carry.

Damage to the myelin sheath gives rise to a range of unpredictable symptoms, including impaired movement control, muscle weakness, pain, fatigue, disruption to sensory ability (such as blurred vision), and cognitive dysfunction. In some cases, MS can cause paralysis.

Source: Multiple sclerosis: ‘Guardian molecule’ may lead to new treatment

Source: Multiple sclerosis: ‘Guardian molecule’ may lead to new treatment

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