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Aurora magazine

Scientists discover genetic markers for severe form of multiple sclerosis

Scientists from Yale, Oregon, and California have discovered new markers for the most serious forms of multiple sclerosis. There are two linked cytokines, which may explain why some people develop the most violent form of the disease. If intuition turned out to be accurate, it could improve the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.

Cytokine called "macrophage migration inhibitor factor" is associated with D-DT protein. These cytokines increase inflammation in the central nervous system, stimulating the progression of the disease. The researchers found that they are related to the expression of MIF, a frequent genetic variation in those who suffer from the most severe forms of multiple sclerosis.

According to the study, a genetic screening would allow to identify the genetic MIF variant. In this way it would be possible to identify the most vulnerable subjects, with all the advantages of early diagnosis. The discovery also opens the doors to more targeted treatments, designed to act specifically on those who suffer from the most acute forms of sclerosis. It would simply be a simple genetic test to optimize the treatment with ad hoc drugs, saving time and money.

Scientists have to find out about clinical observations on patients with multiple sclerosis. These have been accompanied by immunological and genetic analysis of tissue samples taken from them. They also used data to support the efficacy of a previously developed drug that had only been tested on animal models.