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Research breakthrough 'could lead to new MS treatments'

Research breakthrough 'could lead to new MS treatments'
3rd June 2011

A breakthrough has been made in autoimmune disease research which could lead to treatments for those with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

According to findings published in journal Nature Biotechnology, Harvard Medical School researchers have developed a new technique for identifying the "self" proteins targeted in autoimmune diseases.

This allows errant immune responses which mistakenly target the body's own proteins instead of foreign threats to be examined more closely.

Authors wrote: "Knowledge of the self-antigens involved in autoimmune processes is important not only for understanding disease etiology, but also for developing diagnostic tests.

"In addition, physicians may someday use antigen-specific therapies to destroy or disable auto-reactive immune cells."

Meanwhile, new nanoscale research could lead to novel detection, diagnosis and treatment techniques in multiple sclerosis.

A study published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences used nantechnology in order to closer investigate the myelin sheath - a membrane surrounding nerves.

Read about Barchester expertise in offering multiple sclerosis support.