I'm no expert, but here is a sample of some of the items I've found in the past few months that I think represent significant progress in MS research. Disclosure seems to be a big deal around here lately, so I freely admit that I am passionately attached to my hope that MS will be cured soon.
New Perspectives in the Fight Against Autoimmunity
Monday August 23, 10:52 am ET - PRNewswire - The September issue of Nature Immunology reports that researchers at Roche Basel in collaboration with immunologists at the Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, have discovered a naturally occurring peptide that could play a pivotal role in the fight against autoimmune diseases. The so called CLIP (class II associated invariant chain peptide) peptide lowers the production of those cells of the immune system that are critical in triggering pro-inflammatory immune responses, including autoimmunity. This finding may give rise to new therapeutic strategies in particular in the field of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Protein may help understand link between infection and cancer
2004/08/26 - Researchers at the BC Cancer Agency are investigating the activity of a protein they discovered in 1996 which regulates how we respond to microbial infections and inflammation-inducing agents. As described in a paper just published in the prestigious journal, Immunity, lead author Dr. Laura Sly has found that this protein – called SHIP (for Src homology 2-containing inositol 5'-phosphatase) – ensures that the body's macrophages and mast cells do not overreact to inflammation-inducing conditions.
This research, explains BC Cancer Agency senior scientist Dr. Gerald Krystal (the senior author on the paper) has important implications not only for cancer control, but increases our understanding of allergies and auto-immune disorders such as asthma, and could play an important role in controlling septic shock in hospital patients.
Jolting system may be what autoimmune patients need to counter chronic effects
BY LAURA BEIL - The Dallas Morning News - DALLAS - (KRT) - The brain and the immune system are at times like members of a dysfunctional family. Sure, they're close. They depend on each other. But under stress, one can drive the other to self-destruction.
Perhaps few people feel this more than the millions who already have a love-hate relationship with their immune systems. People who suffer from any of a host of autoimmune diseases – rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or psoriasis, to name a few – can feel the pressures of stress literally in their every move.
Scientists who study the interplay between the brain and immune system are trying to help people with autoimmune conditions buffer themselves from the mental backlash of daily life by studying the effects of proper rest, stress management and other coping strategies. And one idea may be surprising: Fighting stress with stress.
"The key to chronic stress is acute stress," says Dr. Andrew Miller of Emory University School of Medicine. He believes that short bursts of benign stress - a scary movie, say - may actually be good for you.
cientists at UCSB make important discoverythat increases understanding of multiple sclerosis
September 14, 2004 - Scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara have made an important discovery that will increase the understanding of multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease of the central nervous system in which the myelin sheath, an insulating membrane surrounding the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, start to unravel for reasons as yet unknown.
In a paper appearing in today's issue (Sept. 14) of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, several UC Santa Barbara researchers describe the results of a study that shows why the unraveling occurs.
LI researchers find brain, immune system link
BY JAMIE TALAN - STAFF WRITER - September 23, 2004 - Long Island scientists have discovered a direct connection between the brain and the immune system, a finding that could have implications for many diseases.
Until recently, scientists believed the brain interacted with the immune system only indirectly by releasing chemicals into the bloodstream.
But Dr. Kevin Tracey, a professor and head of the center for patient-oriented research at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Research Institute in Manhasset, found that the vagus nerve, in the brain stem, talks directly to the immune system, which is spread throughout the body.
Once this relationship is understood, Tracey said, it could open a way to prevent immune diseases by altering brain responses, or to treat diseases by tweaking the immune system so that it does not over-respond causing inflammation.
here's the link if you want to read the whole article:
BYU scientists contribute to immune discovery
By Lois M. Collins
Deseret Morning News
Brigham Young University scientists are on an international team that has figured out how the body regulates its immune response.
That may unlock doors to prevent or treat autoimmune illnesses like lupus, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. And it could help explain how the body rallies to fight invaders like viruses, bacteria and even cancer.