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Nanoparticles Stop Multiple Sclerosis In Mice 50

HangingChad writes "Scientists have used nanoparticles covered in proteins to trick the immune system to stop attacking myelin and halt the progression of multiple sclerosis in mice. The nanoparticles, about 200 times thinner than a human hair, are made from the same material as dissolving stitches. Scientists compare the process an immune system 'reboot'. The process keeps the immune system from treating myelin as an alien invader and to stop attacking it."
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Nanoparticles Stop Multiple Sclerosis In Mice

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:07AM (#42026889)

    Good for you. Don't dwell on diseases you don't have.

    Let me explain it a little bit:

    Everything you know of the world comes through your nerves. Every way that you can interact through the world also runs through those same nerves.

    Imagine being unable to trust that.

    Your symptoms vary. Perhaps you can't tell if your foot is on the floor, or if you're urinating or not. Perhaps hot doesn't feel hot anymore, or cold feels hot also. Perhaps it's just pins and needles pains racing up your extremities at random and frequent times.

    There are multiple types of MS. People don't have the same symptoms; it depends on where the lesions in your nervous system are. If they're on a part of the brain that controls motion, expect to be unable to do things that regular people can. You may be in a wheelchair or suddenly fall down a lot. If they're on a part of the brain that controls speech, expect to be unable to communicate, and to forget or misuse common words. If they're on a part of the brain that controls emotion, expect people to treat you like you're crazy when you break down crying in public.

    Some people have the "progressive" MS that gets worse and worse until they are left in a special electric wheelchair, unable to do much more than manipulate a joystick to move and communicate.

    Some die, especially those who get it later in life or are male.

    For all, there is a sense of helplessness. The part of you that you think is you, the brain and the nerves that construct all you know of the world, is itself corrupt.

    Expect helplessness, rage and perhaps hatred of any deities you once believed in.

    Science has so far been unable to do anything about this disease.

    The day they can will be a day of joy.

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday November 19, 2012 @11:11AM (#42026931) Journal

    What puzzles me(admittedly a layman) is that this procedure reduces rather than exacerbates the autoimmune response. If the organism has MS, the immune system is already getting jumpy about myelin, and then they inject something that(at first glance) sounds more like a myelin vaccine than anything else, but in this case the reaction to myelin is shut down.

    Is it just a matter of being attacked by macrophages in the spleen, rather than elsewhere, or are there specific properties that the nanoparticles have to posses in order to be coded as harmless debris, rather than pathogens, during their destruction by macrophages(on a different note, I wonder if there are any viruses or bacteria capable of down-regulating immune responses to themselves by sending suitably modified cells into this spleen breakdown process? That would be sneaky...)?

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