|Eitan M. Akirav, PhD, Research Scientist, has uncovered a new way to detect Multiple Sclerosis
A team of Winthrop-University Hospital researchers, led by Eitan M. Akirav, PhD, Research Scientist, has found a new way to detect Multiple Sclerosis (MS) – a major breakthrough in a disease that can be difficult to diagnose. MS is a neurodegenerative disease of the central nervous system that affects more than 400,000 people in the United States. The research was funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation’s Marilyn Hilton Award for Innovation in MS Research.
Dr. Akirav has found biomarker – an indicator – for MS, allowing the team to develop a new, minimally invasive test for the disease. The biomarker's applications would include a more accurate diagnosis of MS, a better assessment of disease prognosis and how well the patient is responding to therapy, and the possibility of measuring cell loss in the blood to test how well new drugs and therapies work.
"We have tremendous hope that this will improve the quality of care that is available to patients with MS and allow us to diagnose the disease much sooner, so that they are able to receive the right therapy as soon as possible," said Dr. Akirav.
The assay's characteristics are minimally invasive and low cost, making it an affordable alternative to current approaches. The researchers will soon be expanding their studies to other forms of MS, including primary progressive and secondary progressive MS – consistent, progressive forms of the disease that are less understood than RRMS, as well as other neurological diseases.
For additional information about research initiatives at Winthrop, call 1-866-WINTHROP or visit www.winthrop.org.