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Thread: Study pinpoints 2 distinct subsets of people w/MS

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Default Study pinpoints 2 distinct subsets of people w/MS

    This is from the MS Foundation's MSFYi Newsletter, September 28.
    Two Distinct Subsets of People with MS Pinpointed in Study

    A research team at Brigham and Women's Hospital has found a way to distinguish people with multiple sclerosis into two meaningful subsets. The ability to categorize patients with MS may open new doors for treatment development.

    "Our results suggest that we can divide the multiple sclerosis patient population into groups that have different levels of disease activity," says senior study author Philip De Jager, MD, PhD, of the BWH Department of Neurology. "These results motivate us to improve these distinctions with further research so that we may reach our goal of identifying the best treatment for each individual who has multiple sclerosis."

    De Jager and his team extracted RNA key molecules involved in making proteins from the instructions found in the DNA sequence from blood cells of patients with MS. After analyzing the samples, they found distinct sets of RNA molecules among the patient samples. These unique sets formed a transcriptional signature that distinguished two sets of MS patients MSa patients and MSb patients with those in the MSa group having a higher risk for future relapse.

    According to the researchers, knowing the category a person is in may help doctors make more informed treatment decisions. For instance, since a patient who falls into the MSa category is more likely to experience relapse, his or her doctor may consider a stronger treatment for the patient.

    In light of the discovery, the researchers remain cautious about the findings.

    "Our study is an important step towards the goal of personalized medicine in MS, but much work remains to be done to understand under which circumstance and in combination with which other information this transcriptional signature may become useful in a clinical setting," said De Jager.

    However, from the pre-clinical perspective, the researchers recognize that the findings are essential because they build on earlier studies that had suggested that this structure might be present.

    "The study will further enable the community of MS researchers to build upon this transcriptional signature with other data in order to enhance patient care in the future," said De Jager.

    The study was published in Science Translational Medicine.

    The abstract is available here.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member Lazarus's Avatar
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    Default Huh?

    What did they say the distinguishing factors are between the 2 categories?
    Linda~~~~

    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor each morning the devil says:"Oh Crap, She's up!"

  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    I'm afraid all I know is what is in the two pieces cited above.

    De Jager and his team extracted RNA key molecules involved in making proteins from the instructions found in the DNA sequence from blood cells of patients with MS. After analyzing the samples, they found distinct sets of RNA molecules among the patient samples. These unique sets formed a transcriptional signature that distinguished two sets of MS patients MSa patients and MSb patients with those in the MSa group having a higher risk for future relapse.
    Somebody with a knowledge of microbiology will probably come along and pick this to pieces, but:

    transcription [in genetics, means] the process by which genetic information on a strand of DNA is used to synthesize a strand of complementary RNA.
    and everyone will be found to have a unique transcriptional profile. There's a way of distinguishing the two subsets of MS patients based on extracting RNA from the blood cells, as I understand it.

    Sorry I don't know more!
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

  4. #4
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    This article in Medical News Today (September 28)makes it clearer:

    A Step Closer To Personalized Medicine For Multiple Sclerosis As Researchers Define 2 Categories Of MS Patients

    There are approximately 400,000 people in the United States with multiple sclerosis. Worldwide, the number jumps to more than 2.1 million people. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach to treating the millions with multiple sclerosis, what if doctors could categorize patients to create more personalized treatments? A new study by researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) may one day make this idea a reality in the fight against the debilitating autoimmune disease.

    A research team led by Philip De Jager, MD, PhD, BWH Department of Neurology, senior study author, has found a way to distinguish patients with multiple sclerosis into two meaningful subsets. The ability to categorize patients with multiple sclerosis may open new doors for treatment development.

    The study was electronically published in Science Translational Medicine.

    "Our results suggest that we can divide the multiple sclerosis patient population into groups that have different levels of disease activity," said De Jager. "These results motivate us to improve these distinctions with further research so that we may reach our goal of identifying the best treatment for each individual who has multiple sclerosis."

    De Jager and his team extracted RNA - key molecules involved in making proteins from the instructions found in the DNA sequence - from blood cells of patients with multiple sclerosis. After analyzing the samples, they found distinct sets of RNA molecules among the patient samples. These unique sets formed a transcriptional signature that distinguished two sets of multiple sclerosis patients - MSa patients and MSb patients - with those in the MSa group having a higher risk for future multiple sclerosis relapse.

    According to the researchers, knowing the category a person with multiple sclerosis is in may help doctors make more informed treatment decisions. For instance, since a patient who falls into the MSa category is more likely to experience relapse, her doctor may consider a stronger treatment for the patient.

    In light of the discovery, the researchers remain cautious about the findings.

    "Our study is an important step towards the goal of personalized medicine in MS, but much work remains to be done to understand under which circumstance and in combination with which other information this transcriptional signature may become useful in a clinical setting," said De Jager.

    However, from the pre-clinical perspective, the researchers recognize that the findings are essential because they build on earlier studies that had suggested that this structure might be present.

    "The study will further enable the community of MS researchers to build upon this transcriptional signature with other data in order to enhance patient care in the future," said De Jager.

    -----

    This research was supported by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Fondazione Italiana Sclerosi Multipla, and the National Institutes of Health (R01 NS067305).
    Brigham and Women's Hospital
    The article can be seen here.
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member jendie's Avatar
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    Default

    I was part of this study... some of my blood was used, but I never heard anything about the findings.

    The life of a human guinea pig... bleh

    Jendie
    I've been a member of this forum during its different incarnations since I was dx in 9/98


  6. #6
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    Jendie, what was involved in being in the study?
    MS diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2002-2005. Copaxone 6/07 - 5/10.
    Member of this MS board since 2001.

  7. #7

    Default My blood could have been in the study, too

    I am a patient at the Brigham & Women's/Partners MS Center, and I give blood for research just about every time I'm there. (every 6 months) There are a lot of research studies going on, and perhaps I, too, was in Dr DeJager's study.

    I'm also in their CLIMB study which is following 1,000 (or more?) patients for a longitudinal study.

    msmaggie

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    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    At least they should tell you which group you ended up in. (is that good english?)
    Love, Sally


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