Researchers Investigate Turning On Immune Cells that can Reduce MS Symptoms

Scientists have discovered an immune suppressing cell to combat symptoms of multiple sclerosis.

In a new study on mice, researchers have discovered a cell that can possibly be used to reduce multiple sclerosis symptoms. They have found that this type of cell, which has been used to treat other diseases, may also be used to combat the harmful cells that cause damage for those with the disorder.

Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disorder.

This means cells from the bodies own immune system attacks different parts of the body, perceiving normal functions as foreign dangers like viruses or bacteria. In multiple sclerosis, the cells that attack their own immune system are known as “t-cells”, which are too active in the body and cause inflammation.

Scientists have recently discovered that a type of immune-suppressing cell in the immune system known as “CD8 T cells” may be able to destroy these overactive, inflamatory t-cells. Basically, they believe these two types of cells, CD8 T cells and t-cells, need to be in an equilibrium to function properly. However, for people with MS, there are too many t-cells which mistakenly attack the body. Ro combat this, these researchers found when they added CD8 T cells, these could destroy the t-cells and balance out the immune system. This reduced symptoms and health consequences.

Scientists already knew CD8 T cells can combat disease: they have been used to fight cancers and infections already. However, their use in treating autoimmune disorders is unprecedented. It’s suggested that this could further be used for other autoimmune disorders such as celiacs disease as well. This is exciting because there is no cure for most autoimmune disorders, only treatments that must be taken for the entire life.

This research is promising not only as a treatment option but as a clue to how the condition functions and how to treat it. While it isn’t a cure, it’s a way to find balance in the body in a more sustainable way.

Read more about this research in Medical News Today and Nature.


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