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Nanoparticles Used to Treat Multiple Sclerosis

Posted on November 20 2012

Good news is emerging from the research world for Multiple Sclerosis patients. An innovative new therapy using nanoparticles has shown positive results in mice, which have been bred to carry the auto-immune disorder. This recent study has developed a novel idea to reeducate T-cells and teach them what cells they should be attacking and removing from the body’s systems. The process involves using these nanoparticles and attaching proteins or myelin to them. These nanoparticles are made of the same material as dissolving sutures and therefore are safe to put into the body. The protein or myelin-clad nanoparticles are sent into the blood stream where they head to the spleen, and meet up with the T-cells. The idea is to teach the T-Cells to leave the myelin alone and to attack the foreign substance, in this case the nanoparticles, which represent unhealthy radicals. The interesting this about this therapy is once it has been approved for treatment of MS, with some simple modifications to the formula, it can be used as a treatment for other auto-immune responses including Type-I diabetes, food allergies, and rheumatoid arthritis. The treatment is currently being used on mice, which has yielded positive results. The mice, specifically bred to carry MS, are treated with the nanoparticles at the first symptoms of the disease. The study results show that once the mice have been treated after their early symptoms, their immune systems seem to recalibrate and stop attacking the myelin on the nerve cells, thus ending their battles with MS. If this proves to be the case in future trials, it appears the best MS candidates for the therapy will be those in the early stages of the disease. Researchers hope that they can develop this treatment in such a way that not only can they treat those with early symptoms, curing them of their MS, but also help to treat more advanced patients. While the therapy may not eradicate the disease in advanced patients, it may be able to hinder further development. Since mice don’t lead long lives, it is unknown if repeated treatments would be necessary. But what researchers do know is that T-cells spend a long time within the body and have a lengthy memory capacity, making treated T-cells effective for years at a time. Sources: MSNBC Vitals - http://vitals.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/11/18/15246299-new-approach-could-treat-ms-other-autoimmune-diseases?lite WebMD - http://www.webmd.com/multiple-sclerosis/news/20121115/nanoparticles-show-potential-for-treating-ms Medical News Today - http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/252967.php

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