New Means Of Tracking MS Progression Discovered

Researchers have discovered a new means of monitoring the progression of the debilitating disease, multiple sclerosis. Researchers made use of a powerful MRI with three times the strength to keep track of the increasing levels of iron found in brain tissue.

Researchers from the University of Alberta have discovered increasing iron levels in the gray matter areas of the brain in MS patients, which is responsible for relaying messages. High levels of iron were especially noted in MS patients who are experiencing physical disabilities associated with the disease. Iron levels are important for the normal functioning of the brain. But the amount of iron in the brain is usually managed by a tightly controlled system. Abnormal levels of iron in the brain may suggest that there might be a problem with the control system.

High levels of iron in the brain have been associated with several neurodegenerative diseases. But until now, there have been no means to measure or quantify the amount of iron in living brain tissue. But that is all about to change.

Alan Wilman and Gregg Blevins, co-principal investigators from the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta, made use of a new MRI method in order to measure the iron levels in the brain. The new screening method will also help the researchers get a better understanding of what Ms might be doing to the brains of patients that are recently diagnosed with the said disease. The study involved 22 MS patients as well as another 22 people who did not suffer from the said condition.

The new MRI method makes use of a machine that is known to have 90,000 times the strength of the earth’s magnetic field. The new discovery might even be considered as another potential market that medical experts can look into in the future when trying to better understand how MS affects the brain and causes MS patients to suffer through certain symptoms and disabilities.

Source: Medical News Today

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