Agilent Enables a Major Breakthrough in Multiple Sclerosis

Scientists have made a groundbreaking discovery in their research of multiple sclerosis.

MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system.  Your body’s own immune system attacks nerve fibers between your brain and body, disrupting communication between them.  Some patients may experience no symptoms, while others may lose the ability to see, walk or function.

The name refers to the multiple sclerae (lesions) that develop on the brain and spinal cord.

MS affects about 2 million people around the world, some fatally.  The cause is unknown, but is believed to be a combination of genetics and environment.  Medications can ease symptoms and slow progression, but there is no known cure.

With three subtypes of the disease, full diagnosis requires a series of expensive and time-consuming tests.  In the meantime, patients may receive medications for several weeks that are wrong or ineffective.

Now, researchers in Australia have for the first time identified a biomarker that can determine MS and its subtype with 85 to 90 percent accuracy.  The scientists hope to develop a simple blood test for MS.  They also hope that their research could lead to the development of new therapeutics and more personalized treatments.

The researchers used an array of Agilent technologies and equipment in their work, including an Agilent GC, MS detector, autosampler, columns and OpenLAB CDS ChemStation software.

Today’s topic was suggested by Agilent employee Kiyoshi McGinnis.  Thanks Kiyoshi!

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