At this time we can only slow down multiple sclerosis – but a certain type of a cell has the potential the change this.
The immune system causes an inflammation in the central nervous system – including the brain. This can and does lead to various health problems starting with fatigue, going through pain and can end at paralyzing the person who suffers from multiple sclerosis.
Scientist have known for some time that B-lymphocytes that produce a substance known as imunoglobulin A can reduce the effects of multiple sclerosis. And now teams from the University of Toronto and University of California San Francisco discovered that there cells migrate from the brain into the intestines.
Showing that IgA-producing B cells can travel from the gut to the brain opens a new page in the book of neuroinflammatory diseases and could be the first step towards producing novel treatments to modulate or stop MS and related neurological disorders.
Sergio Baranzini, PhD
When the amount of migrating cells increased the inflammation completely vanished. At least when experiments were performed on mice. But the researchers think that it could work in a similar way in humans.
If we understand this better maybe it could allow us to treat multiple sclerosis by modulating the bacteria that live in a healthy intestine. This should be easier than trying to directly treat the brain as that strategy doesn’t always work.