May 23, 2018 – MS Drug


Anchor lead: Finding out how a specific drug for multiple sclerosis works may help in the development of more effective therapies, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Did you know that your immune system function and your diet may be linked? That’s one finding of a recent study by Michael Kornberg, a research fellow and neurologist at Johns Hopkins, and colleagues, looking at cells involved in the autoimmune disorder multiple sclerosis, and a common MS drug called dimethylfumarate.

Kornberg: Most of the cells in the body like to use oxygen to make energy and they can use sugar or fat or protein but immune cells, when they become activated, can only use sugar. Basically what we found in this paper is that dimethylfumarate, which itself is just part of energy production, kind of blocks that breakdown of sugar. It specifically blocks the overactivation of these immune cells that cause problems in diseases like MS without having major effects on the rest of the body.  :29

Kornberg hopes future research will reveal more strategies to harness this elegant way to manage immune responses. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.