Nav: Home

Serum micoRNAs may serve as biomarkers for multiple sclerosis

January 23, 2017

Boston, MA -- MicroRNAs are small RNA molecules that influence basic cellular processes and have been proposed as biomarkers for the diagnosis, progression and treatment of multiple sclerosis. In a new study conducted at the Ann Romney Center of Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women's Hospital, researchers have found that serum microRNAs are linked to MRI findings in the brain and spinal cord in patients with MS. These findings suggest that microRNAs could serve as promising biomarkers for monitoring the progression of MS and could help to identify distinct underlying disease processes, such as inflammation and tissue destruction.

The study was published on January 23, 2017 in JAMA Neurology.

In a large study, researchers examined the connection between serum microRNAs and MRI measures to evaluate the severity of MS, which included looking at lesions and atrophy, a measure of degeneration of the cells, in the central nervous system. Among the findings, the researchers identified that the expression of certain microRNAs were linked to MRI measures. The authors showed that these associations could be protective or harmful to patients (depending upon the function of the microRNA). They also found that different mechanisms were linked to different locations of MS changes, such as in the brain or spinal cord. Additionally, the study suggested certain sets of microRNAs were linked to lesions, while others were linked to atrophy, which is known to cause more devastating effects to MS patients.

"These findings tell us the disease is heterogeneous. There's a complex set of mechanisms at play, and it may vary from patient to patient," says senior co-author Rohit Bakshi, MD, MA. "Another implication of this research is that it could eventually lead to us having a blood test to identify the subtype of MS in a patient, to help guide therapeutic decisions and prognosis," says Bakshi, also a neurologist at BWH.

"MicroRNAs could serve as biomarkers of the underlying MS disease processes, once validated and standardized for clinical settings. In addition, these markers have the potential to provide novel treatment targets," says Roopali Gandhi, PhD, senior co-author and an assistant professor at BWH.
-end-


Brigham and Women's Hospital

Related Multiple Sclerosis Articles:

AAN issues guideline on vaccines and multiple sclerosis
Can a person with multiple sclerosis (MS) get regular vaccines?
How to improve multiple sclerosis therapy
Medications currently used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) can merely reduce relapses during the initial relapsing-remitting phase.
Vaccinations not a risk factor for multiple sclerosis
Data from over 12,000 multiple sclerosis (MS) patients formed the basis of a study by the Technical University of Munich (TUM) which investigated the population's vaccination behavior in relation to MS.
Obesity worsens disability in multiple sclerosis
Obesity is an aggravating factor in relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis, the most common form of the disease.
A new culprit for multiple sclerosis relapses
A molecule that helps blood clot may also play a role in multiple sclerosis relapses, researchers report in the May 6, 2019 issue of PNAS.
More Multiple Sclerosis News and Multiple Sclerosis Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...