Multiple Sclerosis

Spinal Fluid Could Be First Clue To Multiple Sclerosis, Study



Cerebral spinal fluid maybe one of the first hints that a person may have multiple sclerosis, new research suggests. According to a study published in PLoS One, grey matter is found in people with first attacks of multiple sclerosis. This could have significant implications for treatment of the disorder.

Dr. Steven E. Schutzer, of Rutgers University Medical School led a research team which used special imaging techniques to look for early warning signs of MS attacks. They were working from previous knowledge some imaging studies suggest that gray matter (as opposed to white matter) is involved in the early stages of multiple sclerosis, a notion which is in disagreement with other studies.

In order to better understand which of the two trains of thought is most accurate, Schutzer and his colleagues selected twenety-seven people in order to identify cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) proteins. The volunteers were divided into three groups: first attack MS patients (9), relapse remitting controls (12) and non MS controls (6).

When Schutzer and his colleagues compared the CSF of first time MS patients to those who had already had the disease and healthy controls, they found that certain proteins are unique to first time multiple sclerosis patients. The proteins were components of axon, synapse and neurons - all belonging to gray matter tissue. Gray matter is part of the central nervous system (CNS) and contains cell bodies which basically acts as the body's coordination center.

Interestingly enough, Schutzer's imaging of the myelin components (the white matter) didn't distinguish the three groups. In other words, white matter didn't seem to be significant to first attack multiple sclerosis.

The significance of the discovery made by Scutzer et al isn't to be taken lightly. Multiple sclerosis is a disorder that interferes with the nervous system thus making it harder to think, move, eat, and talk. People with MS tend to tire more easily and experience chronic pain.

The disorder derives its name from scarring (sclerea) of the white matter of the brain and spinal cord. Yet, according to the results of Schutzer's study, MS also damages gray matter. In fact, these researchers assert that "[G]ray matter rather than myelin is more proximally involved in the initiation of MS."

The study is remarkable because it suggests that testing of the spinal fluid could provide an early warning of multiple sclerosis.

Though this study relied on a small sample size it opens the door to further research which could pave the way to diffferent methods for multiple sclerosis diagnosis and treatment.


“Faithful is He who calls you, and He will also bring it to pass.” Thessalonians 5:24

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Article References

Schutzer SE, Angel TE, Liu T, Schepmoes AA, Xie F, Bergquist J, Vécsei L, Zadori D, Camp DG 2nd, Holland BK, Smith RD, & Coyle PK (2013). Gray matter is targeted in first-attack multiple sclerosis. PloS one, 8 (9) PMID: 2403969

Multiple Sclerosis - wikipedia


"Spinal Fluid Could Be First Clue To Multiple Sclerosis, Study" copyright © 2013 Living Fit, Healthy and Happy(SM). All Rights Reserved.



Multiple Sclerosis- What Is It?

Multiple Sclerosis- What Is It?

By David Chandler

Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system (CNS) where the body's own immune cells attack the nervous system. In Multiple Sclerosis, inflammation of nervous tissue causes the loss of myelin, a fatty material that acts as a sort of protective insulation for the nerve fibers in the brain and spinal cord. This demyelination leaves multiple areas of scar tissue (sclerosis) along the covering of the nerve cells, which disrupts the ability of the nerves to conduct electrical impulses to and from the brain, producing the various symptoms of multiple Sclerosis.

Multiple Sclerosis-Causes, symptoms, and risk factors

The cause of multiple Sclerosis is unknown. Geographic studies indicate there may be an environmental factor involved. Multiple Sclerosis is more likely to occur in northern Europe, the northern United States, southern Australia, and New Zealand than in other areas.

Symptoms of multiple Sclerosis vary because the location and extent of each attack varies. There is usually a stepwise progression of the disorder, with episodes that last days, weeks, or months alternating with times of reduced or no symptoms (remission). Recurrence (relapse) is common although non-stop progression without periods of remission may also occur.

The exact cause of the inflammation associated with multiple Sclerosis is unknown. An increase in the number of immune cells in the body of a person with multiple Sclerosis indicates that there may be a type of immune response that triggers the disorder. The most frequent theories about the cause of multiple sclerosis include a virus-type organism, an abnormality of the genes responsible for control of the immune system, or a combination of both factors.

Multiple sclerosis (MS) affects approximately 1 out of 1,000 people. More women are affected than men are. The disorder most commonly begins between ages 20 and 40, but can strike at any age. Risks include a family history of multiple Sclerosis and living in a geographical area with a higher incidence rate for multiple Sclerosis.

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