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Mayo Clinic's MS group is recognized as one of the strongest centers of demyelinating disease in the world. Four major goals of our center include:
Promoting remylination in MS patients
Natural Human Monoclonal Antibody (HIgM22)l Human Monoclonal Antibody (HIgM22)
Development of recombinant protein (Pease and Rodriguez)
Manufacture in GMP facility at the University of Minnesota
Toxicology underway all negative to date
Planned Phase I clinical trial in early 2009
Understanding the immune-pathogenesis of MS and related CNS demyelinating disorders by detailed analysis of pathological specimens from patients and the most pertinent of animal models
Four distinct pathologic patterns identified (Lucchinetti)
Pattern II associated with immunoglobulin deposition and complement responds to plasma exchange (Rodriguez)
Apoptosis important in other patterns thus anti-apoptotic drugs (Ritonovir) being investigated (Howe)
Kallidreins involved in damage (Scarisbrick)
Understanding the genetic factors that determine whether the disease has a benign or severe course
Epidemiology of MS in Olmsted County (1995 to present) – Rodriquez and Pittock
Genetic variations of interferon gamma associated with prognosis (Kantarci and Weinshenker)
Two genes indentified with LOD scores of >13 associated with remyelination in mice (Bieber)
Developing new symptomatic and curative therapies for MS and related disorders
Aspirin trial for MS-related fatigue funded by the National MS Society (200 patients, placebo controlled, examining cytokines (Wingerchuck and Rodriguez)
Calcium and Vitamin D – shown to reduce the risk of MS and prevents the frequent complication of osteoporosis
Neuromyelitis Optica (Devic's Disease)
New antibody diagnostic marker – NMO-IgG (Lennon)
Aquaporin 4 is the antigen target
First demyelinating disease with a serum diagnostic marker
Treatment very different from MS, therefore, important to identify
Genetic variants of aquaporin 4 may identify patients at risk
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