Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Multiple Sclerosis: new MRI contrast medium enables early diagnosis in animal model

05.08.2008
Promising therapies can be initiated at an early stage; team of scientists from Heidelberg and Würzburg publishes in the journal Brain

In an animal model of multiple sclerosis (MS), neuroradiologists and neurologists of the University hospitals of Heidelberg and Würzburg have been able to visualize inflammatory tissue damage, most of which had remained unrecognized up to now, with the aid of a new contrast medium, Gadofluorine M, in magnetic resonance imaging. The scientists have published their results in the online edition of the renowned medical journal Brain.

In particular at the early stage of the disease, drug treatment is effective. Up to now, how-ever, an early diagnosis is frequently not established with certainty, especially if no (or very few) inflammatory lesions are present on MRI. "With this new contrast medium, we were able to visualize five to ten times more foci of inflammation in comparison to conventional MRI images and contrast media", reports Professor Dr. Martin Bendszus, Medical Director of the Department of Neuroradiology at the University hospital of Heidelberg.

Previously unrecognized patches of demyelination visible in MRI

MS is a chronic inflammatory disease of the central nervous system of unknown cause. It usually begins in young adults, and women are affected more frequently. In Germany, ap-proximately 120,000 patients are afflicted. MS is characterized by multiple inflammatory le-sions in which nerve fibers lose their myelin sheath. These patches of demyelination cause neurological malfunctions that may regress upon remyelination. At later stages, MS may re-sult in a loss of nerve fibers, leading to irreversible damage and persistent neurological symptoms. MRI plays a crucial role in the early diagnosis of MS and monitoring of the dis-ease.

The scientists from Heidelberg and Würzburg examined brains and spinal cords of animals at different stages of the disease with the new contrast medium and found significantly more inflammatory lesions than with conventional contrast media. Examinations of tissue sections from these lesions showed that these were actually foci of inflammation. The application of this new contrast medium was clearly superior to conventional contrast media, especially for the spinal cord or optical nerve, nerve regions that are particularly difficult to examine on MRI.

New contrast medium accumulates better in MS lesions

The results of the study could help dramatically improve the diagnostic work-up in MS with a potential impact on early treatment. "MS is the most frequent cause of occupational disability and handicap in young adults", explains Professor Bendszus. "New therapies have a positive influence on the course of the disease, but are often not initiated at early stages since the diagnosis of MS is not yet established. "

The new contrast medium gadofluorine M supposedly visualizes MS lesions better because it binds especially well to certain components of the extracellular matrix of inflammatory foci. Because of this, it accumulates in these lesions in higher concentrations.

Now, the next objective of the interdisciplinary working group is to further develop the new MRI contrast medium for application in clinical practice. As of now, the contrast medium is not yet approved. Additional preclinical tests are necessary for the planned clinical application.

Dr. Martin Bendszus | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.med.uni-heidelberg.de

More articles from Medical Engineering:

nachricht 3-D visualization of the pancreas -- new tool in diabetes research
15.03.2017 | Umea University

nachricht New PET radiotracer identifies inflammation in life-threatening atherosclerosis
02.03.2017 | Society of Nuclear Medicine

All articles from Medical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>