Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 19

Thread: MS may originate in the gray matter

  1. #1
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,229
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default MS may originate in the gray matter

    MS has always been defined as a disease of the white matter of the CNS. Now it seems that the gray matter may be involved, far more so than previously thought.

    From Medical News Today, September 13, 2013:


    Multiple sclerosis appears to originate in different part of brain than long believed


    The search for the cause of multiple sclerosis, a debilitating disease that affects up to a half million people in the United States, has confounded researchers and medical professionals for generations. But Steven Schutzer, a physician and scientist at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, has now found an important clue why progress has been slow - it appears that most research on the origins of MS has focused on the wrong part of the brain.

    Look more to the gray matter, the new findings published in the journal PLOS ONEsuggest, and less to the white. That change of approach could give physicians effective tools to treat MS far earlier than ever before.

    Until recently, most MS research has focused on the brain's white matter, which contains the nerve fibers. And for good reason: Symptoms of the disease, which include muscle weakness and vision loss, occur when there is deterioration of a fatty substance called myelin, which coats nerves contained in the white matter and acts as insulation for them. When myelin in the brain is degraded, apparently by the body's own immune system, and the nerve fiber is exposed, transmission of nerve impulses can be slowed or interrupted. So when patients' symptoms flare up, the white matter is where the action in the brain appears to be.

    But Schutzer attacked the problem from a different direction. He is one of the first scientists to analyze patients' cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) by taking full advantage of a combination of technologies called proteomics and high-resolution mass spectrometry. "Proteins present in the clear liquid that bathes the central nervous system can be a window to physical changes that accompany neurological disease," says Schutzer, "and the latest mass spectrometry techniques allow us to see them as never before." In this study, he used that novel approach to compare the cerebrospinal fluid of newly diagnosed MS patients with that of longer term patients, as well as fluid taken from people with no signs of neurological disease.

    What Schutzer found startled one of his co-investigators, Patricia K. Coyle of Stony Brook University in New York, one of the leading MS clinicians and researchers in the country. The proteins in the CSF of the new MS patients suggested physiological disruptions not only in the white matter of the brain where the myelin damage eventually shows up. They also pointed to substantial disruptions in the gray matter, a different part of the brain that contains the axons and dendrites and synapses that transfer signals between nerves.

    Several scientists had in fact hypothesized that there might be gray matter involvement in early MS, but the technology needed to test their theories did not yet exist. Schutzer's analysis, which Coyle calls "exquisitely sensitive," provides the solid physical evidence for the very first time. It includes a finding that nine specific proteins associated with gray matter were far more abundant in patients who had just suffered their first attack than in longer term MS patients or in the healthy controls. "This evidence indicates gray matter may be the critical initial target in MS rather than white matter," says Coyle. "We may have been looking in the wrong area."

    According to Coyle, that realization presents exciting possibilities. One, she says, is that patients who suffer attacks that appear related to MS could have their cerebrospinal fluid tested quickly. If proteins that point to early MS are found, helpful therapy could begin at once, before the disease can progress further.

    Coyle says Schutzer's findings may also lead one day to more effective treatments for MS with far fewer side effects. Without specific knowledge of what causes multiple sclerosis, patients now need to take medications that can broadly weaken their immune systems. These drugs slow the body's destruction of myelin in the brain, but also degrade the immune system's ability to keep the body healthy in other ways. By suggesting an exciting new direction for MS research, Schutzer and his team may have set the stage for more targeted treatments that attack MS while preserving other important immune functions.

    Schutzer sees an even broader future for the work he is now doing. He also has used advanced analysis of cerebrospinal fluid to identify physical markers for neurological ailments that include Lyme disease, in which he has been a world leader in research for many years, as well as chronic fatigue syndrome. He says, "When techniques are refined, more medical conditions are examined, and costs per patient come down, one day there could be a broad panel of tests through which patients and their doctors can get early evidence of a variety of disorders, and use that knowledge to treat them both more quickly and far more effectively than is possible now."

    ____________________________

    References:

    This research was funded by the National Institutes of Health.

    Rutgers University


    The article can be seen here.
    Last edited by agate; 09-17-2013 at 04:16 PM. Reason: changing heading
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous



  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SWOhio
    Posts
    3,549

    Default

    I sure hope that this knowledge leads to something good and not, also harmful.
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,229
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default

    There've been more articles on this, and in one of them there is this:

    Asked for an independent perspective on the research, Laura Banks, M.D., medical director of the Monterey Neurological Institute in Monterey and affiliated with the Natividad Medical Center and Community Hospital in Salinas, California, told MSDF [MS Discovery Forum], I think it is an excellent first start. It corroborates that there is early cortical involvement seen on images from 7-tesla MRI. To have more physiological data is very helpful.

    Banks said if the findings are validated, it may be possible to select patients for disease-modifying drugs. I see a huge group of people who don't want to be on disease-modifying treatment, and if I could tell them there's already cortical involvement, that might trigger them to take treatments more seriously, she said. She also expressed hope that someday proteomic profiles could lead to better prescribing of current drugs.
    Is this Dr. Banks saying that at least this new idea can be used to scare reluctant patients into taking an MS drug?

    The whole article can be seen here.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous



  4. #4
    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SWOhio
    Posts
    3,549

    Default

    I hope that's not what she meant...
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







  5. #5
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,229
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default

    I do, too, Sally. But it's just one doctor's idea, and she hasn't been part of the research team if I read the article right.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous



  6. #6
    Distinguished Community Member renee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Up-upstate NY where it gets cooooold.
    Posts
    788

    Default

    Thank you, ladies.
    Uchhh. I never looked good in gray.

    At least it's new knowledge.

  7. #7
    Distinguished Community Member nuthatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    California
    Posts
    1,458

    Default

    Gray hair, gray matter . . . what does it matter?

    Pun - the lowest form of humor!guaranteed to getsome groans: play on words, wordplay, double entendre, innuendo,witticism, quip, bon mot.

    Bring on the word games!!!

  8. #8
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,229
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default

    Gray goes with everything though.

    And at night all cats are gray.

    You're right, nuthatch. It doesn't matter!
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous



  9. #9
    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    SWOhio
    Posts
    3,549

    Default

    Except for black cats. At night, they're just all eyes..LOL
    Last edited by SalpalSally; 09-22-2013 at 08:52 AM.
    Love, Sally


    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost







  10. #10
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    10,229
    Blog Entries
    15

    Default

    Check out the image if you want to see the part that's gray. It's a drawing but they've at least colored it gray.

    http://multiple-sclerosis-research.b...sease-and.html
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous



Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-06-2012, 07:43 AM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-11-2011, 08:42 AM
  3. Dr Gray..published/informative articles relating to spinal leaks..For my appeal.
    By hemyinspain in forum Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leak
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 11-15-2011, 06:42 AM
  4. Refused permission for referral to Dr Gray by NHS in uk.
    By hemyinspain in forum Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leak
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 11-02-2011, 07:46 AM
  5. Dr. Linda Gray (Leithe) at Duke - Request Info
    By LeakingnHissinginPotomac in forum Cerebrospinal Fluid (CSF) Leak
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 08-16-2011, 09:34 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


BTC Inc's Disclaimer and Privacy Policy

The material on this site is for information & support purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice provided by a licensed health care provider. Always consult your doctor before trying anything that you find online.