Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a devastating neurological disease of young adults. It progresses over years to produce permanent neurological disability and severe psychosocial loss. MS is caused by an aberrant immune system that destroys axons and myelin. In Alberta, MS affects almost one of every 350 people. This is one of the highest rates in the world and nearly twice the rate of MS in central Canada.
The MS program at the HBI has assembled a world-class team of scientists, neurologists, imaging experts and population health researchers to treat and investigate MS. Goals of the program include; arresting the progressive loss of nerve function in MS, as well as, to repair the lesions that have formed in the brain and spinal cord of MS patients. These goals can allow patients to regain neurological function and their quality of life. The MS program has a proven track record of translational work. For more information on this translational work and the program please click here.
Click here for a list of HBI members affiliated with the Multiple Sclerosis Research Program.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease caused by damage to myelin – the protective covering wrapped around the nerves of the central nervous system (CNS). Previous studies have shown that certain white blood (immune) cells, called leukocytes, infiltrate the CNS and play a significant role in causing the damage that contributes to MS symptoms. It has also been shown that these leukocytes enter the CNS with help from a family of molecules called MMPs.
Using a mouse model, researchers have discovered that a molecular switch called EMMPRIN plays an important role in MS. The researchers explored how in MS, EMMPRIN affects MMPs and the entry of leukocytes into the CNS to result in disease activity.
“In our studies we inhibited EMMPRIN and noticed a reduced intensity of MS-like symptoms in mice,” says Dr. V. Wee Yong, a professor of Clinical Neurosciences at the Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Medicine and the study’s principal investigator. “Our data suggests that if we target EMMPRIN in patients with MS, we may reduce the injury to the brain and spinal cord caused by immune cells.” Read More