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Influence of coagulation factors on MS development demonstrated
So far, the causes of multiple sclerosis (MS) in the human organism have been largely unclear. Together, researchers from the Universities of Duisburg-Essen, Münster and Würzburg have now shown a connection between the blood coagulation system and the development of MS in humans. This could be the decisive breakthrough when it comes to what causes multiple sclerosis (MS) in humans, the researchers report.
Multiple sclerosis is a relatively widespread disease of the central nervous system, the triggers of which have so far remained unclear. A few months ago, a possible connection with the coagulation factor XII was found in the mouse model, which the scientists have now examined in a study on humans. The researchers published their results in the specialist journal "Annals of Neurology".
MS mainly affects young adults
The inflammatory disease of the central nervous system is particularly affecting young adults. "Around 140,000 patients are expected for Germany alone," the scientists report. The disease often progresses rapidly in episodes. However, research has made little progress in identifying causes and treatment in recent years. "There are hundreds of setbacks to success," said the University of Duisburg-Essen. All the more astonishing is the joint discovery of neuroimmunologists from the university clinics in Essen, Münster and Würzburg.
Coagulation factors of great importance
The research group had already demonstrated the role of coagulation factor XII in the development of MS in the mouse model a few months ago. In their current study, the scientists were now able to show that "these and other coagulation factors are obviously very important even in sick people," reports the University of Duisburg-Essen. This seems to be an important step in the search for the triggers of the disease in the human organism.
Crucial engine of the inflammatory processes
The coagulation factors discovered are "with high probability the decisive motors of the harmful inflammatory process, which gradually attacks and destroys the central nervous system of those affected", emphasizes Professor Dr. Christoph Kleinschnitz, Director of the Neurological Clinic of the Medical Faculty of the University of Duisburg-Essen at the University Hospital Essen.
Multiple coagulation factors increased in MS
The current study examined "how healthy people and patients with neuroimmunological diseases differ with different coagulation factors," explains Dr. Kerstin Göbel from the University Clinic for General Neurology in Münster. The scientists found that "where inflammatory processes take place, not only factor XII is increased". In the blood of patients with relapsing MS, "the level of the two coagulation factors prothrombin and FX is also higher than in healthy people."
Coagulation factors offer new treatment approaches
The results of the researchers suggest that coagulation factors significantly advance the inflammatory processes in neurological diseases and, according to the Münster research group leader Professor Dr. Dr. Sven Meuth also new approaches to treatment. The coagulation factors are ideal targets "that could be taken up by possible future therapies," adds Prof. Kleinschnitz. The researchers have already successfully tested the use of the active ingredient Infestin to block the coagulation factor XII in mice. The current study results have now shown that the coagulation factors could also be suitable as target structures for MS therapies in humans, according to the scientists. (fp)