Science and Technology
publicado em 30/06/2011 às 21h10:00
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Neurodegenerative disease in monkeys helps to understand human multiple sclerosis

Discovery could lead to a breakthrough in research seeking more effective treatments against sclerosis in humans

 
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Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) have found a naturally occurring disease in monkeys and is very similar to human multiple sclerosis a finding that could have a major impact on efforts to understand the causes of multiple sclerosis.

The researchers found that the disease in monkeys is associated with a herpes virus that could give important clues about how to develop multiple sclerosis in humans. Researchers have long believed that a type of herpes virus can trigger multiple sclerosis in people who are genetically susceptible.

Before the results of this study, the researchers were only able to study diseases like multiple sclerosis in nonhuman primates after the disease was induced artificially. A disease that occurs naturally, as the discovery in this study may give researchers more clues about the causes and development of the disease.

From 1986 to 2010, 56 Japanese monkeys of the Oregon National Primate Research Center at OHSU spontaneously developed paralysis in the hind limbs, along with other symptoms. The monkeys were killed humanely, they could not be returned to the colony of monkeys safely. Researchers have performed autopsies on the bodies and magnetic resonance imaging in eight animals.

With these and other tests, the researchers found that a multiple sclerosis-like disease called encephalomyelitis of the Japanese monkey was causing paralysis. Although the disease typically afflicting adult animals, it was also present in young animals and older in both males and females.

About 1% to 3% of more than 300 Japanese monkeys in the primate center developed the disease each year, according to the researchers. From this discovery, scientists can try to prevent or treat the virus in monkeys, which could help them progress in the treatment of multiple sclerosis in humans.

Polish

Source: Isaude.net
   Palavras-chave:   Multiple sclerosis    Herpes virus    Genetic susceptibility    Paralysis    Monkeys   
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