A new drug currently being tested in humans has been found to suppress multiple sclerosis and other auto immune diseases in mice, according to a study published on Monday.
The drug works by stimulating the development of T-cells, a kind of white blood cell which helps the immune system target specific pathogens.
“We know that it generates T-cell lines that are regulatory for auto immune diseases and that the same T-cell line will suppress three different auto immune diseases in mice,” said study author Jack Strominger of Harvard University.
“It is also effective in several other auto immune diseases in mice, so it’s possible this class of molecules could be more broadly used than simply for multiple sclerosis.”
Strominger and his team developed a relative of the drug Copaxone which is currently used to treat multiple sclerosis.
They tested it on mice directly and then generated a T-cell line from those treated mice. Those t-cells suppressed the disease in three different models, he said in a telephone interview.
In testing it on mice they discovered it was “far more effective” in treating multiple sclerosis and “amazingly more effective” in treating uveitis, a common cause of blindness, he said.
This comes as researchers have reported that a bodysuit that heats or cools a patient, combined with painless measurements of eye movements, is providing multiple sclerosis researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Centre with a new tool to study the mysterious link between body temperature and severity of MS symptoms.
The researchers studied an aspect of MS called Uhthoff’s phenomenon, named for the German ophthalmologist who reported in 1889 that some people have temporary vision problems after exercise or in hot weather. This and other symptoms of MS, such as fatigue or problems with coordination, worsen in the heat for most people with the disease.
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Sources: The Times Of India