The treatment method developed by American scientists with the help of nanotechnology has revolutionized the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS).
The treatment method using nanoparticles developed by scientists from Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in the USA gave successful results on mice.
The researchers said the new treatment method was able to stop a form of the disease called "relapsing-remitting MS," in which 80 percent of MS patients were diagnosed, in mice.
MS is caused by the body's immune system attacking and damaging the myelin sheath, which covers and insulates nerve cells. If the myelin sheath covering the nerve cells in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve is destroyed, electrical signals cannot be transmitted effectively between nerve cells in the body. As a result, many symptoms appear, ranging from numbness in the arms and legs to paralysis and blindness.
Stephen Miler, who is part of the editorial team of the research published in the scientific journal Nature Biotechnology, said that they observed that the reoccurrence of the disease was prevented for 100 days in mice.
Noting that this corresponds to a 5-6-year period in the life of an MS patient, Miller pointed out that their method rearranges the immune system so that it does not attack the myelin sheath, but does not harm the body's normal immune function.
Since the entire immune system is suppressed in the treatment methods currently used in the treatment of MS, patients become vulnerable to infections and cancer risks encountered in daily life.
With the new method, the scientists attached the myelin antigen, which prevents the body's immune system from attacking the myelin membrane, to nanoparticles one billionth of a meter in size and injected it into mice.
The myelin antigen, delivered with the help of nanoparticles produced from the polymer called lactide co-glycolide (PLG), prevented the body's immune system from attacking the myelin membrane by detecting it as a foreign substance.
Myelin antigen-attached nanoparticles injected into the spleen leave the myelin antigens on the cell surfaces after they are engulfed by immune cells called macrophages.
Thus, the immune system is deceived, making it perceive the nanoparticles as dying cells to be removed from the body, which does not cause anxiety.
Scientists from the Discovery Science and Technology division of a US government agency called the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Myelin Repair Foundation, an organization that studies MS disease, also contributed to the research.
New method can be tested in humans quickly
Made from PLG, a substance approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the nanoparticles were produced by Professor Lonnie Shea, Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering.
Shea, who was in the writing committee of the research, pointed out that PLG, which is a substance approved by the FDA for other applications, will enable the method to quickly transition to the trial phase on humans.
Inexpensive and easily accessible
Stating that a similar method is used in a treatment developed for MS and still being used on patients, researchers point out that in this method, patients' own white blood cells are used instead of nanoparticles to deliver the myelin antigen, which is a very expensive and laborious task.
Explaining that nanoparticles can be easily produced in the laboratory and standardized for manufacturing, the researchers emphasized that this makes the treatment to be produced with the new method cheap and easily accessible.
Source : saglik.milliyet