In multiple sclerosis, the immune system attacks the myelin membrane that insulates nerves cells in the brain, spinal cord and optic nerve. When the insulation is destroyed, electrical signals can’t be effectively conducted, resulting in symptoms that range from mild limb numbness to paralysis or blindness. About 80 percent of MS patients are diagnosed with the relapsing remitting form of the disease.
Recent research carried out at Northwestern University has shown that by using a biodegrable naoparticle to deliver an antigen it is possible to trick the immune system into preventing attack on myelin and thus stop a model of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis in mice. Furthermore, it is thought that this same nanotechnology appraoch could be used for a number of immune-mediated diseases that include, Type 1 diabetes, food allergies and asthma.
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Source: Northwestern University