SAN DIEGO – Compelling findings in a genetically engineered mouse model of multiple sclerosis identify mechanisms of how adolescence and gut dysbiosis contribute to the risk of MS. In addition, disparities in gut microbiome species could explain why some people are at higher risk for developing multiple sclerosis, while others seem to enjoy a protective effect against development of this and other autoimmune diseases.
The hope is that these findings could pave the way for clinicians to potentially prevent development of multiple sclerosis in people at higher risk, perhaps through altering the gut flora and probiotic therapy,, said in a at ACTRIMS Forum 2018, held by the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis.
Dr. Dhib-Jalbut and his team discovered these findings using humanized transgenic mice – in other words, mice containing risk genes for triggering disease transferred from a patient with multiple sclerosis. The mice were more likely to develop MS-like disease at certain ages and in the presence of an altered gut microbiome or gut dysbiosis ().
Dr. Dhib-Jalbut is past president of ACTRIMS and is professor and chairman of the departments of neurology at Rutgers–Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, N.J., and New Jersey Medical School, Newark. He has received research grants from Biogen and Teva, and is a consultant for Genzyme, Teva, Celgene, and, Mallinckrodt.