Immune cells previously thought to contribute to the development of multiple sclerosis (MS) have been found to instead protect against the condition.
Researchers at the University Medical Centre of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz have found in a mouse model that the eradication of dendritic cells leads to increased susceptibility to MS.
If confirmed, the findings will change the fundamental understanding of the condition and could lead to more effective treatments.
Dr Ari Waisman, senior author on the study, commented: "By transfusing dendritic cells into the blood, it may be possible to reduce autoimmunity."
He added that the same reasoning could also be applied to other autoimmune conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease and psoriasis.
The discovery follows that of another recent study, which found that changes in brain blood flow - also known as chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency - aren't related increased symptom severity in MS patients.
This also flies in the face of established thought, with researchers previously believing that the condition, which causes vein abnormalities and drains blood from the brain, was related the MS.
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