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New scan agent 'may show MS lesions more clearly'

New scan agent 'may show MS lesions more clearly'
4th August 2008

Scientists say a new method for viewing the effects of multiple sclerosis in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans has shown positive results in animals.

The researchers used a new contrast agent, gadofluorine M, which appeared to bind more effectively to lesion matter which is associated with the condition, according to results published in the online journal Brain.

Further development of the contrast medium is now planned, with additional pre-clinical tests required.

Professor Martin Bendszus, medical director of the Department of Neuroradiology at the university hospital of Heidelberg, said: "With this new contrast medium, we were able to visualise five to ten times more foci of inflammation in comparison to conventional MRI images and contrast media."

Dr Bendszus and his team believe the study could lead to dramatically improved diagnosis of the condition and as a result may impact on early-stage treatments.

Meanwhile, the Evening News has reported that the work of an Edinburgh scientist is offering hope for new multiple sclerosis treatments.

Professor Charles ffrench-Constant, from the city's university, is carrying out stem cell research with tests on mice and rats to try to find a way of using the cells to repair damage to the brain.

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