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Blocking Proteins Could Help Modulate Multiple Sclerosis

"What we found was that the non-neuronal cells in the brain -- microglia and astrocytes -- only respond to very specific chemical messengers related to inflammation," said Dr. Crocker. "By understanding which signals are required to turn on these specific genes, we might therein be able to modulate the degree and severity of an immune attack to the brain like MS."

Dr. Crocker indicated that the idea of tweaking the immune system is getting a lot of attention in the drug industry. "It's on the horizon," he said. "How we might be able to train [these proteins] to work for us, instead of against [us], is what's going to come next."

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December 1, 2003 in research | Permalink