News & Features

The world of MS information changes rapidly. Breakthroughs in understanding the mechanisms of MS, its cause, and its treatment come at a rapid pace. And there's so much to know just about managing the disease in your daily life! 

To keep you informed and up-to-date, MS Focus offers informative periodicals and round-the-clock multimedia broadcasting. Whether print or digital, these materials are designed to be easy to understand for MS patients, their families, and care providers. Subscriptions are free of charge.

Study finds food allergies and MS link

February 22, 2019

This link between food allergies and MS disease activity highlights an important role of the gut.
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Regulating the MS-causing properties of Th17 cells

February 19, 2019

A new study identifies a protein regulator responsible for inducing the pathogenic properties of Th17 cells, leading to multiple sclerosis. A research team from Osaka University found that the protein Satb1 triggers a shift in immune cells, causing tissue inflammation and autoimmunity. This breakthrough could lead to new treatments targeting the source of inflammation.

Interleukin 17-producing T-helper cells are a recently-identified class of immune cells that play a major role in protection against invading pathogens. Studies have shown that excessive inflammation induced by Th17 cells is actually one of the underlying causes of many inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. But what causes Th17 cells to cross the line from helpful to harmful? To answer this question, the researchers examined genome organizer protein Satb1.

Using a mouse model of MS, the researchers deleted the Satb1 gene in Th17 cells and found that the disease no longer developed in the mice. Key to this mechanism was the lack of expression of a protein called granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor by the Satb1-defective Th17 cells. GM-CSF is a pathogenic cytokine that causes localized tissue inflammation in MS. Satb1 was also found to enhance the expression of the GM-CSF gene, confirming its role in promoting inflammation.

Satb1 also blocks the expression of a protein specially designed to suppress T-cell inflammatory activity and prevent autoimmune diseases. This protein, programmed cell death protein 1, was more highly expressed in Satb1-deficient Th17 cells compared with normal Th17 cells, indicating that Satb1 normally inhibits protein expression.

Results of mouse model studies sometimes do not translate to humans and may be years away from being a marketable treatment. However, the researchers said the results suggest that manipulating Satb1 gene expression in Th17 cells could form the basis of novel treatments for various autoimmune diseases caused by Th17 cells. If they can prevent the pathogenic processes of Th17 cells, they may be able to alleviate or even eliminate disease symptoms.

The study was published in Nature Communications.
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Researchers: Immune system master switch key to new treatments

February 14, 2019

According to the study’s authors, the discovery could be translated into a viable drug treatment for MS within a few years.
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Newly discovered immune cells may play role in MS

February 06, 2019

The single-cell analyses used by the researchers are new and can be used for studying individual cells from tissues.
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Brain cell changes in people with MS revealed

January 30, 2019

The findings could shed new light on how the disease progresses and help scientists develop treatments.
Learn more

Nerve degeneration by calcium ions may contribute to MS

January 29, 2019

A new study suggests that ruptures in the cell membrane initiate degeneration of long nerve fibers, resulting influx of calcium ions.
Learn more

Researchers conducting online survey on heat, cold, and MS

January 28, 2019

The survey specifically focuses on what methods patients use to cope with the symptom worsening induced by exposure to heat and cold.
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Brain regeneration mechanism may help trigger remyelination

January 25, 2019

The findings may provide a basis for the development of new drugs to treat MS.
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MS Coalition seeks participants for secondary progressive survey

January 24, 2019

A survey has been developed to gain patient input into secondary progressive MS.
Learn more

Study finds food allergies and MS link

February 22, 2019

This link between food allergies and MS disease activity highlights an important role of the gut.
Learn more

Regulating the MS-causing properties of Th17 cells

February 19, 2019

A new study identifies a protein regulator responsible for inducing the pathogenic properties of Th17 cells, leading to multiple sclerosis. A research team from Osaka University found that the protein Satb1 triggers a shift in immune cells, causing tissue inflammation and autoimmunity. This breakthrough could lead to new treatments targeting the source of inflammation.

Interleukin 17-producing T-helper cells are a recently-identified class of immune cells that play a major role in protection against invading pathogens. Studies have shown that excessive inflammation induced by Th17 cells is actually one of the underlying causes of many inflammatory and autoimmune disorders. But what causes Th17 cells to cross the line from helpful to harmful? To answer this question, the researchers examined genome organizer protein Satb1.

Using a mouse model of MS, the researchers deleted the Satb1 gene in Th17 cells and found that the disease no longer developed in the mice. Key to this mechanism was the lack of expression of a protein called granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor by the Satb1-defective Th17 cells. GM-CSF is a pathogenic cytokine that causes localized tissue inflammation in MS. Satb1 was also found to enhance the expression of the GM-CSF gene, confirming its role in promoting inflammation.

Satb1 also blocks the expression of a protein specially designed to suppress T-cell inflammatory activity and prevent autoimmune diseases. This protein, programmed cell death protein 1, was more highly expressed in Satb1-deficient Th17 cells compared with normal Th17 cells, indicating that Satb1 normally inhibits protein expression.

Results of mouse model studies sometimes do not translate to humans and may be years away from being a marketable treatment. However, the researchers said the results suggest that manipulating Satb1 gene expression in Th17 cells could form the basis of novel treatments for various autoimmune diseases caused by Th17 cells. If they can prevent the pathogenic processes of Th17 cells, they may be able to alleviate or even eliminate disease symptoms.

The study was published in Nature Communications.
Learn more

Researchers: Immune system master switch key to new treatments

February 14, 2019

According to the study’s authors, the discovery could be translated into a viable drug treatment for MS within a few years.
Learn more

Newly discovered immune cells may play role in MS

February 06, 2019

The single-cell analyses used by the researchers are new and can be used for studying individual cells from tissues.
Learn more

Brain cell changes in people with MS revealed

January 30, 2019

The findings could shed new light on how the disease progresses and help scientists develop treatments.
Learn more

Nerve degeneration by calcium ions may contribute to MS

January 29, 2019

A new study suggests that ruptures in the cell membrane initiate degeneration of long nerve fibers, resulting influx of calcium ions.
Learn more

Researchers conducting online survey on heat, cold, and MS

January 28, 2019

The survey specifically focuses on what methods patients use to cope with the symptom worsening induced by exposure to heat and cold.
Learn more

Brain regeneration mechanism may help trigger remyelination

January 25, 2019

The findings may provide a basis for the development of new drugs to treat MS.
Learn more

MS Coalition seeks participants for secondary progressive survey

January 24, 2019

A survey has been developed to gain patient input into secondary progressive MS.
Learn more

Study shows MS treatments delay progression of the disease

January 17, 2019

Findings showed early treatment – particularly within five years of onset – delayed the secondary progressive stage of MS.
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Study suggests stem cell therapy more effective than DMTs

January 15, 2019

Researchers said further research is needed to replicate these findings and to assess long-term outcomes and safety.
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Specially Trained Physical Therapists for MS

January 14, 2019

These therapists have received specialized training to provide physical therapy services for persons with MS.
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Study suggests gut immune cells cut MS inflammation

January 08, 2019

One aspect of the new research is that increasing the number of IgA plasma cells that migrate from the gut to the brain eradicated neuroinflammation in mice.
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Food allergies linked to increased disease activity in MS

December 20, 2018

The researchers said there are one or two possible explanations for their observations.
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New stem cell research reveals what prevents remyelination

December 19, 2018

The findings suggest new targets for therapeutic intervention.
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Study: Graphene may be used to detect MS

December 12, 2018

Graphene may one day be used to test for MS according to new research from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
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Discovery opens new opportunities to slow or reverse MS

November 29, 2018

The discovery of mature myelin-producing cells' capacity for repair opens new opportunities to slow or reverse the disease.
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Online publication seeks participants for survey

November 28, 2018

The survey is anonymous, not sponsored by an outside organization, and the data will only be used for editorial purposes.
Learn more


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