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Mouse Study Shows Possible Benefits of Targeting Immune Messenger IL-17A in MS

February 7, 2020

The immune messenger protein IL-17A has long been known to be a major player in the immune attacks that underlie MS. Researchers at Trinity College Dublin are now reporting that – in studies in mice with MS-like disease -- IL-17A appears to act by priming other immune system components, and not by triggering inflammation itself. Eliminating IL-17A from mice or treating them with inhibitors of IL-17A enabled the mice to resist getting MS-like disease. Antibodies targeting this immune protein are in development, and one has been approved to treat another immune-mediated disease – plaque psoriasis. These studies can serve to inform similar future efforts in MS.

Read more from Trinity College

Read a summary of the paper in Immunity

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Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system. There is currently no cure for MS. Symptoms vary from person to person and range from numbness and tingling, to mobility challenges, blindness and paralysis. An estimated 1 million people live with MS in the United States. Most people are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, and it affects women three times more than men.

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