A new multiple sclerosis therapy is being explored, as well as the possibility of quicker diagnosis through the use of MRI.
New multiple sclerosis treatment has been uncovered, along with faster MRI diagnosis method to help reduce brain inflammation. Researchers from the University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry have uncovered a new pathway for multiple sclerosis (MS) treatment. The aim of the new treatment is reducing inflammation in the brain, as it is a contributing factor for muscle disability in multiple sclerosis.
Current multiple sclerosis treatments target the immune system in order to reduce inflammation in the brain. Unfortunately, the increasing strength of the medications weakens patients’ immune system, making them more susceptible to side effects and other illnesses. For the current study, the researchers examined the enzyme called granzyme B in cytotoxic cells as a possible therapeutic target to combat inflammation without significant suppression of the immune system.
Cytotoxic cells are used in the body to help fight off infection and kill virus-infected cells. But in multiple sclerosis, they are redirected against the host. Granzyme B damages nerve cells and other areas in the brain, but the researchers found that suppressing granzyme B with serpina3n – a newly discovered inhibitor – could significantly reduce the progression of multiple sclerosis in human cells and preclinical models.
Senior author Fabrizio Giuliani said, “We can interfere with some of the weapons these cytotoxic cells use to induce damage to the nerve cells in the brain, but without disrupting the other positive functions that these cells have. This molecule, serpina3n, will block the damage caused by granzyme B that induces the neurodegeneration in this disease, and the neurodegeneration strongly correlates with the disability.”