A team from the Research Center Hospital of the University of Quebec-Laval found how to neutralize the cells that attack the brain, spine and brain cells, known as multiple sclerosis.
CANADA – The study results published in the Journal of Experimental Medicine, found the involvement of a molecule in the development of multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the central nervous system.
The team of researcher led by Steve Lacroix, professor of molecular medicine, focused on one of the mechanisms that characterize multiple sclerosis, the massive influx of immune cells in the brain and spinal cord.
The researchers found that the interleukin IL-1 beta molecule was important in the development of brain inflammation and autoimmunity.
In the mouse study, it was discovered that when this molecule is blocked, rodents do not develop multiple sclerosis.
Lacroix said deleting the gene of interest, the famous immune cells that attack the brain, spinal cord, neurons, myelin (a kind of sheath that protects neurons) are unable to enter the central nervous system and cause death and permanent damage to nerve cells.
The massive influx of immune cells in the central nervous system is associated with the appearance of plaques around nerves and neurons, causing cognitive and motor disorders in multiple sclerosis.
The discovery of the involvement of interleukin IL-1 beta offers a glimpse of hope and allows treatment options.
These, however, will not materialize until several years from now, when determining whether the molecule also has beneficial effects that should be considered to be blocked in a possible treatment.
“In the next five years, we want to investigate what would be the potentially beneficial effects of the molecule, to know what side effects should be taken into account if ever the blocks in a therapeutic context.”
The condition is considered a “Canadian” disease, because in Canada the prevalence rate is the highest in the world, said Radio Canada International (RCI).
Louis Adam, Executive Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Society Quebec Division, indicated that there is something in the environment that causes the greatest number of cases of multiple sclerosis is registered in Canada.
He added that the investigation of multiple sclerosis cost 10 million dollars in 2015.
According to the organization, more than 100,000 people in Canada are living with autoimmune disease of the central nervous system.