There are trillions of bacteria which reside in our intestines, and they are known on a whole as gut microbiome. On a recent report at Science AAAS, they talked about two new studies which might show that gut microbiome could lead to Multiple Sclerosis. Multiple Sclerosis is a condition which turns the body against itself, attacking myelin, the protective nerve fibers surrounding body organs and parts.
Bacteria in intestines might lead to Multiple Sclerosis
The two studies covered in the report essentially talk about how it is likely that bacteria in intestines can result in the immune system turning against itself, and they hope that this could lead to treatments by creating drugs based on microbial byproducts.
The two bacteria groups Acinetobacter and Akkermansia more abundant in patients with MS relative to normal patients
Based on research conducted by Sergio Baranzini, a human geneticist at the University of California, San Francisco analyzed a total of 142 people, 71 with MS and 71 patients without MS, finding that the two bacteria groups Acinetobacter and Akkermansia are a few times more abundant in patients with MS relative to patients not suffering from MS.
The study was replicated with mice when the researchers transferred guy microbiome from both healthy individuals and sufferers of MS to mice. In about 3 weeks, the mice receiving gut bacteria from MS sufferers will usually develop severe brain inflammation whereas for mice receiving the gut bacteria from non-MS sufferers, they tend to be relatively healthier (specifics were not provided and should be observed. As we continue to cover more insightful articles, we will delve deep into specifics).
Another study focused on twins, one suffering from MS and one who is healthy
In another related study, Gurumoorthy Krishnamoorthy and Hartmut Wekerle from Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology led a group of immunologists to research 34 pairs of identical twins. Their findings were conclusive and they found that more than 3 times as many mice receiving bacteria from MS patients developed brain inflammation relative to those receiving the bacteria from healthy donors.
The studies are helpful, but have limited impact on coming up with cures
We feel that the studies, though helpful in establishing correlation, are not exactly novel in being able to tackle MS as a disease. While we can potentially gain a better understanding of how intestinal bugs could change the response of the immune system, it is still a long and tedious process to be able to develop treatments and perhaps more elusively, true cures.
Even one of the researchers featured acknowledged in the report that it is still too early.