Hopkins researchers have discovered a single molecule that is a cause of an autoimmune disease in the central nervous system, called transverse myelitis (TM), that is related to multiple sclerosis.
In a study published in the October issue of The Journal of Clinical Investigation, psychiatrist Adam Kaplin, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and neurologist Douglas Kerr, M.D., Ph.D., also an assistant professor at Hopkins, showed that the levels of the protein, IL-6, are dramatically elevated in the spinal fluid of transverse myelitis (TM) patients.
Although the majority of TM patients suffer a single attack, 15 percent to 30 percent of patients go on to develop full-blown MS. TM evolves rapidly and without warning and usually results in permanent impairment, including weakness of the legs and arms, bowel and bladder dysfunction, pain and paralysis.
Eric Vohr | EurekAlert!
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