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Researchers at Cing help identify new MS biomarker

Researchers at the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (Cing) have helped identify a new biomarker that will contribute to the study of Multiple Sclerosis (MS).

MS is a multifactorial disease of the central nervous system (CNS) characterised by multifocal plaque formations (brain and spinal lesions) and the destruction of the protective myelin sheath around nerve cells. It results in progressive neurodegenerative and autoimmunity issues.

In a statement, Cing said that the identification and examination of the underlying mechanisms involved in the development of MS was a vital issue in global research, though the cause of the disease remains unknown.

A research team from Cing’s department of neuroimmunology consisting of Professor Mario Pantzaris, Senior Neurologist and Director of the Department Dr Anastasia Lambrianides, Head of Research at the Department and Maria S. Hadjiagapiou, PhD Candidate, in collaboration with the Department of Molecular Virology, led by Professor Christina Christodoulou, contributed to the identification of new biomarker molecule.

The research paper has been published in the international scientific journal Multiple Sclerosis and Related Disorders.

Studies in autoimmune disorders that have common clinical characteristics with MS provide new insights into the coagulation-inflammation circuit and reveal the presence of antibodies against coagulant components that may contribute to the thromboembolism development.

According to the paper, the findings of the study illustrate the presence of higher levels of antibodies than exists in the general population, and demonstrated the association of this antibody activity with disease progression.

“The antibodies have been proposed as contributing factors to venous thromboembolism development and as key molecules in the initiation of signalling inflammatory pathways in neuroinflammatory diseases,” the research states.

“Considering the development of thrombosis at the early onset of MS, our study aimed to detect antibodies against coagulant components in MS and evaluate their possible association with the clinical profile of the disease.”

The study involved 167 patients with MS and 40 healthy controls.

Cing said the results provide new evidence for the involvement of antibodies in MS and opens new horizons in the study of the pathology of the disease.

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