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Found 5 results

  1. Multiple sclerosis study reveals possible trigger Israeli scientists discover an abnormality in neurons’ protective membrane may enable the immune system to launch a mistaken attack. By ISRAEL21c Staff June 20, 2017, 9:00 am Multiple sclerosis, one of the most devastating neurodegenerative diseases, affects some 2.5 million people worldwide and has no known cure. Researchers have long speculated that MS is triggered by the body’s own immune system unleashing an uncontrolled attack on myelin sheaths that protect nerve cells (neurons). A study published by Israeli scientists in the Journal of the American Chemical Society (JACS) pinpoints a structural instability in the myelin membranes, the “insulating tape” surrounding neurons. This vulnerability seems to be what gives the immune system access to otherwise protected regions. “We found that small modifications in the myelin sheaths create structural instabilities that may help the immune system to enter and attack neurons,” said principal investigator Prof. Roy Beck of Tel Aviv University’s School of Physics and Astronomy and Sagol School of Neurosciences. “Current therapeutic approaches have focused on the autoimmune response without identifying a clear mechanism. Our research suggests a new avenue for multiple sclerosis therapies and diagnostics,” Beck said. Breaking down the insulation Axons, which carry electrical impulses in neurons, are surrounded by protective myelin sheaths. In MS, an autoimmune “error” mistakenly identifies these sheaths as hostile foreign entities and breaks them down. The research, conducted by Rona Shaharabani, a doctoral student in Prof. Beck’s lab, pinpoints the precise alterations to the myelin sheaths that result in structural instabilities, creating “easy access” for autoimmune attacks. “After years of research, we were amazed to discover that a possible trigger for the outbreak of the disease could be found in the membrane’s physical structure,” said Beck. Cylindrical instead of flat He explained that the lipid-and-protein building blocks of the myelin sheaths give the membrane a shape that is critical to their functioning. “If the basic building blocks are straight, the membrane will be flat, which is the preferred structure for a neuron’s ‘insulating tape,’” said Beck. “However, if they exhibit a more cone-like shape, the membrane will tend to form closed round cylinders. These produce spontaneous holes in the surface of the sheath, rendering it vulnerable to attack.” For the purpose of the research, the scientists harnessed X-ray light to examine hundreds of membrane model systems that mimicked those of healthy and diseased animal models. In collaboration with Prof. Ruth Arnon of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, co-developer of the leading MS drug Copaxone, and Prof. Yeshayahu Talmon of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, the team also used electron microscopy to determine the different nanoscopic structures of both natural myelin sheaths and model system membranes. “The next step is to find a way to reverse the disease progression and find new techniques for early detection,” said Beck. MS is "lupus of the myelin sheath." In SLE, the autommune system causes the body to attack itself via inflammation. In SLE, every body system, not just the myelin sheath, can be attacked, including body organs.
  2. Israeli autoimmune disease treatment with parasitic worms has ‘marvelous’ results Professor Yehuda Schoenfeld of Tel-Aviv University, co-founder of medical startup TPCera, uses parasitic worms to treat autoimmune diseases, and the results have been “marvellous.” An expert in SLE & autoimmune diseases, such as MS & Rheumatoid Arthritis.
  3. 8 December 2011 Last updated at 13:15 GMT Rare gene links vitamin D and multiple sclerosis A rare genetic variant which causes reduced levels of vitamin D appears to be directly linked to multiple sclerosis, says an Oxford University study. UK and Canadian scientists identified the mutated gene in 35 parents of a child with MS and, in each case, the child inherited it. Researchers say this adds weight to suggestions of a link between vitamin D deficiency and MS. The study is in Annals of Neurology. Multiple sclerosis is an inflammatory disease of the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). Although the cause of MS is not yet conclusively known, both genetic and environmental factors and their interactions are known to be important. Oxford University researchers, along with Canadian colleagues at the University of Ottawa, University of British Columbia and McGill University, set out to look for rare genetic changes that could explain strong clustering of MS cases in some families in an existing Canadian study. They sequenced all the gene-coding regions in the genomes of 43 individuals selected from families with four or more members with MS. The team compared the DNA changes they found against existing databases, and identified a change in the gene CYP27B1 as being important. When people inherit two copies of this gene they develop a genetic form of rickets - a disease caused by vitamin D deficiency. Just one copy of the mutated CYP27B1 gene affects a key enzyme which leads people with it to have lower levels of vitamin D. Overwhelming odds The researchers then looked for the rare gene variant in over 3,000 families of unaffected parents with a child with MS. They found 35 parents who carried one copy of this variant along with one normal copy. In every one of these 35 cases, the child with MS had inherited the mutated version of the gene. The likelihood of this gene's transmission being unconnected to the MS is billions to one against, say the researchers. Prof George Ebers, lead study author at Oxford University, says the odds are overwhelming. "All 35 children inheriting the variant is like flipping a coin 35 times and getting 35 heads, entailing odds of 32 billion to one against." He added: "This type of finding has not been seen in any complex disease. The uniform transmission of a variant to offspring with MS is without precedent but there will have been interaction with other factors." Prof Ebers believes that this new evidence adds to previous observational studies which have suggested that sunshine levels around the globe - the body needs sunshine to generate vitamin D - are linked to MS. He maintained that there was now enough evidence to carry out large-scale studies of vitamin D supplements for preventing multiple sclerosis. "It would be important particularly in countries like Scotland and the rest of the UK where sunshine levels are low for large parts of the year. Scotland has the greatest incidence of multiple sclerosis of any country in the world." Dr Doug Brown, head of biomedical research at the MS Society, called it an important development. "This shines more light on the potential role of vitamin D deficiency on increasing the risk of developing MS. "This research is gathering momentum and will be the subject of discussion at an international expert meeting in the USA this month, the outcomes of which will shape future research that will give us the answers we so desperately need about the potential risks and benefit of vitamin D supplementation." Paul Comer, from the charity MS Trust, said the research strengthened the case for vitamin D being one potential contributory cause of MS. "Current opinion suggests that a combination of genetic predisposition, environmental factors such as exposure to sunlight and possibly some sort of trigger, such as a viral infection, interact in some way to start the development of MS. "We welcome any research that clarifies the interplay between these factors. This is another step towards finding ways to reduce the risk of developing MS, but it is likely to be some years yet before we can gauge the significance of vitamin D deficiency to MS." http://www.bbc.co.uk...health-16086004
  4. JERUSALEM, Israel, Oct 11, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Results from a five-year study of treatment-naïve patients with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) demonstrated that patients treated with COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) showed significant reduced loss of brain volume compared to patients treated with other disease modifying therapies (DMTs). Though all DMT treatment arms resulted in a reduction in brain volume loss compared to the control group of non-treated patients, COPAXONE® had a significantly better effect than both low and high dose interferons, in reducing loss of brain volume. A paper published by Dr. Omar Khan, detailing the study findings, "Effect of disease-modifying therapies on brain volume in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis: Results of a five-year brain MRI study," was recently published in the Journal of the Neurological Sciences. "These data represent the importance of ongoing research in a practical clinical setting to better understand multiple sclerosis and the impact of therapy on the course of the disease ," said Jon Congleton, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Teva Neuroscience. "Not only does this study highlight the benefit of COPAXONE® in reducing brain volume loss, it underscores the value of early treatment in influencing long-term outcomes." Brain volume loss in multiple sclerosis patients exceeds the rate of healthy control groups. Brain volume loss, sometimes referred to as atrophy, may be correlated with cognitive and physical deficits. Modern magnetic resonance (MR) techniques can reliably measure loss of brain volume over time. ABOUT THE STUDY In the study, the COPAXONE® treatment arm resulted in a -2.27 percent change in brain volume (PCVB) as compared to baseline versus -2.62 percent for Avonex® (low-dose interferon), -3.21 percent for Betaseron®/Rebif® (high-dose interferon). This was a retrospective study in which the brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans of 275 RRMS patients treated with DMTs were examined with Structural Image Evaluation, using Normalization of Atrophy (SIENA). Data analysis was conducted in 2007-08 and the study period included patients who started DMTs in 2001-02 and subsequently received the same DMT for five years. Inclusion criteria for the study were diagnosis of clinically definite RRMS, disease duration of five years or less at the time of initiating DMT and treatment-naïve prior to initiation of DMT at onset of study observation period. Untreated RRMS patients with follow-up ranging from eight to 24 months were enrolled as controls. All untreated patients also had prior brain MRI scans on no therapy that could be analyzed with SIENA, so that their rate of brain volume loss was annualized and then projected over five years assuming a constant rate of brain volume loss over five years. 121 patients in the study were treated with COPAXONE®, 101 were treated with Betaseron® or Rebif® and 53 were treated with Avonex®. All patients had brain MRI scans (at onset of DMT and five years later) on the same 1.5T scanner. Image analysis was performed blinded to treatment allocation. The study was supported by Wayne State University Neuroscience Program. Preliminary results from this study were presented at the American Academy of Neurology annual meeting in 2008. ABOUT COPAXONE® COPAXONE® is indicated for the reduction of the frequency of relapses in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, including patients who have experienced a first clinical episode and have MRI features consistent with multiple sclerosis. The most common side effects of COPAXONE® are redness, pain, swelling, itching, or a lump at the site of injection, flushing, rash, shortness of breath, and chest pain. COPAXONE® (glatiramer acetate injection) is now approved in more than 50 countries worldwide, including the United States, Russia, Canada, Mexico, Australia, Israel, and all European countries. In North America, COPAXONE® is marketed by Teva Neuroscience, Inc., which is a subsidiary of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. In Europe, COPAXONE® is marketed by Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and sanofi-aventis. COPAXONE® is a registered trademark of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. See additional important information at:http://www.sharedsolutions.com/pdfs/PrescribingInformation.aspx or call 1-800-887-8100 for electronic releases. ABOUT TEVA Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (NASDAQ: TEVA) is a leading global pharmaceutical company, committed to increasing access to high-quality healthcare by developing, producing and marketing affordable generic drugs as well as innovative and specialty pharmaceuticals and active pharmaceutical ingredients. Headquartered in Israel, Teva is the world's largest generic drug maker, with a global product portfolio of more than 1,300 molecules and a direct presence in about 60 countries. Teva's branded businesses focus on neurological, respiratory and women's health therapeutic areas as well as biologics. Teva currently employs approximately 42,000 people around the world and reached $16.1 billion in net sales in 2010. Teva's Safe Harbor Statement under the U. S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: This release contains forward-looking statements, which express the current beliefs and expectations of management. Such statements are based on management's current beliefs and expectations and involve a number of known and unknown risks and uncertainties that could cause our future results, performance or achievements to differ significantly from the results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include risks relating to: our ability to successfully develop and commercialize additional pharmaceutical products, the introduction of competing generic equivalents, the extent to which we may obtain U.S. market exclusivity for certain of our new generic products and regulatory changes that may prevent us from utilizing exclusivity periods, potential liability for sales of generic products prior to a final resolution of outstanding patent litigation, including that relating to the generic version of Protonix®, the extent to which any manufacturing or quality control problems damage our reputation for high quality production, the effects of competition on sales of our innovative products, especially Copaxone® (including potential generic and oral competition for Copaxone®), the impact of continuing consolidation of our distributors and customers, our ability to identify, consummate and successfully integrate acquisitions (including the acquisition of Cephalon), interruptions in our supply chain or problems with our information technology systems that adversely affect our complex manufacturing processes, intense competition in our specialty pharmaceutical businesses, any failures to comply with the complex Medicare and Medicaid reporting and payment obligations, our exposure to currency fluctuations and restrictions as well as credit risks, the effects of reforms in healthcare regulation, adverse effects of political or economical instability, major hostilities or acts of terrorism on our significant worldwide operations, increased government scrutiny in both the U.S. and Europe of our agreements with brand companies, dependence on the effectiveness of our patents and other protections for innovative products, our ability to achieve expected results through our innovative R&D efforts, the difficulty of predicting U.S. Food and Drug Administration, European Medicines Agency and other regulatory authority approvals, uncertainties surrounding the legislative and regulatory pathway for the registration and approval of biotechnology-based products, potentially significant impairments of intangible assets and goodwill, potential increases in tax liabilities resulting from challenges to our intercompany arrangements, our potential exposure to product liability claims to the extent not covered by insurance, the termination or expiration of governmental programs or tax benefits, current economic conditions, any failure to retain key personnel or to attract additional executive and managerial talent, environmental risks and other factors that are discussed in our Annual Report on Form 20-F and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. http://cts.businessw...cmtx2&distro=nx SOURCE: Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.
  5. Daily pill 'could stop or even REVERSE multiple sclerosis' Source: http://www.dailymail...-sclerosis.html 23 September, 2011 Researchers in Canada discover low levels of brain chemicals in sufferers Trials are already underway and could speed the drug's release for general use Doctors have made an 'exciting' breakthrough that could lead to a new treatment to stop - or even reverse the symptoms - of multiple sclerosis. Researchers have discovered that people with MS have significantly lower levels of brain chemicals called neuro-steroids. Neuro-steroids help build brain cells and maintain their function, connecting different areas of activity in the brain. Scientists and neurologists at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada believe that it would be possible to replace the missing chemical with a daily pill that would represent a completely different way of dealing with the disease that affects more than 85,000 people in the UK. Dr Chris Power announced the discovery in a research paper in the latest issue of Brain. He said: 'This frankly is an exciting breakthrough and has huge potential. The role of neurosteroids in the brain has been known for some time but no one thought - until now - that they might play a role in MS.' The link with the disease was made when his team tested the brains of 16 patients from Alberta - which has the highest levels of MS in the world - and discovered that they had significant lower levels of a particular neuro-steroid allopregnanolone compared to a group of patients who had died from other diseases. Dr Power's team were excited because trials using allopregnanolone - which is derived from cholesterol and is linked to vitamin D - are already underway in epilepsy and depression. 'The chemical is already available which speeds up the process that could eventually get this into humans with MS,' he said. Researchers are interested in the vitamin D link because it has been established that there are higher levels of MS in Northern areas of the world such as Scotland where reduced levels of the vitamin have been linked to less exposure to sunlight. When mice with MS were treated with allopregnanolone it had a significant effect, reducing inflammation levels in the brain and repairing nerve fibres. In MS the myelin sheath around nerves is destroyed by the disease which is triggered by the immune system 'over reacting' and attacking healthy cells rather than invading infections and diseases. MS in its severest form can cause loss of mobility but the Canadian researchers found that the mice given the steroid were found to have increased levels of mobility over a 30 day period following the start of treatment. Dr Power said: 'Overall we found that the mice showed a 50 per cent reduction in MS disease severity in the brain.' At present there a number of drugs that slow the progression of MS but after a period of time many patients 'fail' on the treatments and their disease continues to progress. Dr Power believes that regular treatment with allopregnanolone - and possibly other neurosteroids halt the disease and can reverse some of the symptoms. He said: 'We were surprised by our initial discovery that this neurosteroid was present in reduced levels in MS patients and then amazed to discover that when we used it as treatment it had such significant effects.' Funding for the research came from the Canadian Government and the country's MS Society. Dr Power is now hoping to get Government or drug funding to start the first stages of human trials with allopregnanolone within the next couple of years. He said: 'Initially we will be looking that it is safe to take. But to some extent that work has been done because of the trials in other disease areas. Our research on mice showed no toxicity. 'If we overcome that hurdle - which we should then we would be onto stage two trials to establish that it works as a treatment." 'We are talking about it being at least six or seven years away as a treatment but I am optimistic about our chances even though there are a number of hurdles to overcome.' Multiple Sclerosis is a complex condition which can be difficult to diagnose because it presents in many different forms. Symptoms can include problems with vision, balance and dizziness, fatigue as well as bladder, speech and swallowing difficulties. The condition can also affect memory and thinking and impact on a sufferer's emotions. In severe cases a person with MS will be unable to walk. Most people will not suffer the same symptoms and they will not suffer all of them at the same time. MS is usually diagnosed in adults between 20 and 40 years old and is more prevalent in women. Treatments up until now have included drug, exercise and physiotherapy alongside diet and alternative therapies. MS is an inflammatory disease which damages the tissue around the brain and the spinal cord, this affects the ability of cells to communicate leaving the body unable to respond to instructions from the brain.
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