The Northwestern Medicine consortium in the United States has developed a nanoparticle biodegradable, which has proven effective in a clinical trial conducted with laboratory mice to stop the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (MS). In particular, the nanoparticle serves to get an antigen to the immune system, so that it stops attacking the myelin.

Myelin is a membrane that protects nerve cells in the brain and other areas of the body and, when destroyed, cells can not send electrical signals, and the characteristic symptoms of relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis occur - a form of MS, which affects 80% of patients - including mild limb numbness, paralysis or blindness.

By injecting mice with nanoparticles with myelin antigens, their immune system was restored and stopped attacking myelin, and no symptoms of multiple sclerosis occurred

The authors of the study that revealed the possibilities of this new nanotechnology, and whose conclusions have been published in 'Nature Biotechnology', linked the nanoparticles to myelin antigens and injected them intravenously to the laboratory mice, verifying that the The animal's immune system was restored, it stopped taking myelin by an invading entity, and stopped the attack, and this without the need to suppress the activity of the immune system, which is how other therapies used against multiple sclerosis act.

Researchers explained that this is an important advance in the treatment of multiple sclerosis and that, in addition, this same type of therapy could be used to treat other autoimmune diseases, such as asthma, type 1 diabetes and food allergies. One of the great advantages of the finding is that nanoparticles can be easily made in the laboratory using a substance that has already been approved by the FDA (the US drug agency).

The results obtained with the nanoparticles used in this research are similar to those that have been achieved in other clinical trials that use the patient's own white blood cells to administer the antigen. With the difference that the use of white cells implies an intensive and expensive process, and the nanoparticles could be produced simply and inexpensively, and would become a more accessible therapy for patients.

Systemic immunity protects the mind: Can immune checkpoint blockade combat Alzheimer’s disease? (November 2019).