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BrainFacts.org

A PUBLIC INFORMATION
INITIATIVE OF:

  • Kavli
  • Gatsby
  • SfN

Multiple Sclerosis: Making a Difference Today

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, is a chronic, incurable, and often crippling autoimmune disease. Symptoms can come and go, but in many people, it eventually destroys the ability to walk, talk, or even see.

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Introduction

For many years, researchers believed the brain was separated from the immune system, a specialized network of cells and proteins that protect the body against foreign invaders like bacteria and parasites. But more recently, they have identified immune cells and proteins in the brain. Now researchers are studying the communication between the immune system and the brain, and exploring how some viruses like HIV and some autoimmune disorders like multiple sclerosis (MS) attack nerve cells and their connections. Human and animal studies are helping scientists identify genetic and environmental factors that increase a person’s risk for MS and other immune system disorders. They are also working to improve tests that monitor disease progression, and develop new ways to reverse damage to nerves. New imaging technology is also helping researchers examine how HIV/AIDS affects the brain over time, leading to disease-related dementia.

Discoveries

Multiple Sclerosis: Making a Difference Tomorrow

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Despite numerous advances in the testing and treatment of multiple sclerosis, the disease still has no cure. Fortunately, scientists are discovering ways to stop or reverse the course of the disease.

Neurological AIDS

Source: Society for Neuroscience
In 2009, about 2.5 million people worldwide became infected with human immunodeficiency virus; 33 million are now living with HIV.

Multiple Sclerosis

Source: Society for Neuroscience
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a lifelong ailment of unknown origin that affects approximately 400,000 Americans and 2.5 million people worldwide.

Immune System Disorders in the News

Vaccine Approved for Brain Fever

Source: New York Times
Date: 4 Nov 2013
The World Health Organization has approved a vaccine for brain fever.

MS Damage Repair Treatment Looked at by Edinburgh Researchers

Source: BBC
Date: 21 July 2013
New treatments that could help slow the progression of multiple sclerosis could be a step closer due to research by Edinburgh University.

Can Boosting Immunity Make You Smarter?

Source: Discover
Date: 12 Feb 2013
The body's defense cells engage the brain in an intricate dialogue that may help raise IQ.