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'Projection neuron' identified as key cell in multiple sclerosis development

'Projection neuron' identified as key cell in multiple sclerosis development
Lucas SchirmerA study by postdoctoral fellow Lucas Schirmer, in the laboratory of David Rowitch (both Paediatrics and Wellcome–MRC Cambridge Stem Cell Institute), discovered that a specific brain cell known as a 'projection neuron' has a central role to play in the atrophic brain changes seen in multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS is a neuroinflammatory disease of the brain and the spinal cord which affects over two million people worldwide. The disease has a relapsing–remitting disease course at early stages and distinct lesion characteristics and neurodegeneration at chronic stages.
The collaborative research with the University of California, San Francisco, published in Nature, shows that projection neurons are damaged by the body's own immune cells, and that this damage could underpin the cortical brain shrinkage and cognitive changes associated with MS. These new findings provide a platform for specific new neuroprotective MS therapies that target cell death pathways expressed in vulnerable projection neurons.

Posted on 16/08/2019

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