Gene flaw found in MS treatments
Scientists from Oxford University have finally discovered why a particular class of drugs which were manufactured to help treat MS sufferers never made the intended impact, and why, in some cases, they exacerbated the illness.
The University team has identified a genetic variant linked to multiple sclerosis which does not work in the same way for that particular illness as it does with other autoimmune diseases, and can even make the condition worse. It is now thought that the success of the drugs was largely down to each individual’s genetic make-up, making them unsuitable for vast portions of the population.
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The anti-tumour necrosis factor (anti-TNFs) drugs worked in regards to rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowel disease, but scientists have now confirmed that the same influences are not had on MS.
A particular genetic variant called TNFRSF1A was found to shorten the TNFR1 protein encoded by the gene. This meant that it was unable to sit on the surface of the cells to bind TNF, leading to a blockage on the required signals being sparked, and blocking the influence of the gene.
Nick Rijke, Director of Policy and research at the MS Society explained the significance of these findings in specifying future treatments to people’s specific genetic requirements.
He stated: "There are many genes associated with MS, but we know little about the role they play or the influence they have on the condition.
"This important study has shown that some of your genes can play a part in deciding whether or not you respond to a treatment.
"In the future this could help ensure that people with MS are offered the drug treatments that are most likely to work for them."
Dubai's new smart neuro spinal hospital: need to know
We take a look at Dubai's new smart hospital.
What: The Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre is a new hospital featuring state-of-the-art technology for spinal, neurosurgical, neurological, orthopaedic, radiosurgery and cancer treatments. The 700 million AED hospital, (equivalent to £138 million), has 114 beds, smart patient rooms, and green spaces for patient rehabilitation, and is four times the capacity of its former premises in Jumeirah. It is also the UAE’s first hospital to have surgical robots.
Where: The hospital is located in the Dubai Science Park. Founded in 2005, Dubai Science Park is home to more than 350 companies from multinational corporations in life sciences, biotechnology and research; over 4,000 people work here each day.
Who: The UAE's Neuro Spinal Hospital and Radiosurgery Centre was first established in Jumeirah in 2002 by Dr. Abdul Karim Msaddi, as the first as the first "super-specialty" neuroscience hospital.
Why: With advanced diagnosis and robotics, the hospital will provide care across neuroscience, spine, orthopaedics and oncology for people residing in the UAE, as well as international patients.
Prof. Abdul Karim Msaddi, Chairman and Medical Director of the hospital, said: “We are proud to bring world-class healthcare services to Dubai and believe our next-generation hospital will be a game-changer for the emirate’s and the region’s medical industry.
"It will not only significantly increase the availability of specialist neuroscience and radiosurgery treatments and provide better patient care but help attract and develop local and international talent. Investing in the new centre represents our continued faith in the resilience of the region’s economy, as well as a testament to our ongoing drive towards healthcare innovation in the UAE.”