Two Studies Co-Funded by National MS Society Add Evidence to Role of Gut Bacteria in MS
September 12, 2017
New studies from the U.S. and Germany, funded in part by the National MS Society, add mounting evidence to the potential role that intestinal bacteria play in the brain inflammation that underlies multiple sclerosis.
In one study, researchers found that certain types of bacteria were much more common in people with MS than in people without MS, and that administering these bacteria to immune cells from people without MS caused the cells to become inflammatory. Transferring bacteria from people with MS to mouse models induced brain inflammation, unlike gut bacteria from people without MS. In a second study, investigators analyzed bacteria from 34 sets of twins, of whom one twin had MS. When bacteria from the twins was transferred to mice, bacteria from the twins who had MS caused much more brain inflammation than that from the twins who did not have MS.
Further study, now underway, is needed to determine whether future treatment strategies for MS may include some designed to affect the microbiome, such as probiotics. The Society continues to fund research in this area, including The MS Microbiome Consortium
, a comprehensive analysis of gut bacteria in people with MS to determine factors that may drive progression and develop probiotic strategies for stopping progression. Find out how you can participate in this study.
Read more about these studies in Science Magazine
Read Study 1 and Study 2, both available to all on the Website of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences