Signs of Multiple Sclerosis Show Up in Blood Years Before Symptoms Appear in Portion of Patients

UCSF scientists clear a potential path toward earlier treatment for a disease that affects nearly 1,000,000 people in the United States.
In a discovery that could hasten treatment for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), UC San Francisco scientists have discovered a harbinger in the blood of some people who later went on to develop the disease. In about 1 in 10 cases of MS, the body begins producing a distinctive set of antibodies against its own proteins years before symptoms emerge. These autoantibodies appear to bind to both human cells and common pathogens, possibly explaining the immune attacks on the brain and spinal cord that are the hallmark of MS. The findings were published in Nature Medicine on April 19. The article is titled “An Autoantibody Signature Predictive for Multiple Sclerosis.”
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