New Method Predicts Severity of Disease Activity in Multiple Sclerosis

A new biomarker reveals how the disease will progress in patients.

A newly developed method may help predict the severity of multiple sclerosis (MS).

In the study published in Cell Reports, researchers identified a biomarker that could help predict how MS progresses in a patient by exploiting the differences in cell function in the immune system of healthy individuals and those with MS.

Researchers examined how large numbers of proteins interact with each other, and used new bioinformatics methods to find those that are highly significant in MS.

“We have been able to study in detail changes in the immune cells of patients, and been able to identify important proteins,” said lead researcher Mika Gustafsson. “This has led us to a biomarker that can predict how the disease will progress in the patient.”

The biomarker that was identified is a combination of 4 proteins, which have measurable concentrations in cerebrospinal fluid.

Using the biomarker, researchers were able to predict which MS patients would have active MS disease 2 years later. Furthermore, the new method could predict the efficacy of a common MS drug in a small group of patients.

“Being able to determine the prognosis more accurately is a huge step forward when it comes to choosing the correct treatment,” said researcher Jan Ernerudh.