A Research team lead by Violaine Harris, Ph.D., at the Tisch MS Research Center of New York, has just published findings on a new method of measuring disease activity in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) (Harris, et al, Cerebrospinal fluid fetuin-A is a biomarker of active multiple sclerosis, Multiple Sclerosis Journal, Epub: 2/25/2013 doi: 10.1177/1352458513477923 ahead of print). This important biomarker discovery is based on spinal fluid measurement of Fetuin-A levels obtained over the course of several years of clinical and pathological studies of MS patients as well as experimental models of the disease. Dr. Harris’s findings are likely to change the process for making treatment decisions in MS patients.
Current MS treatment is designed to stop disease activity in the brain and spinal cord with the goal of arresting disease progression and disability. According to Dr. Saud A. Sadiq, the senior author on the study, “these findings will provide a measurable method of monitoring the effectiveness of treatment much like determining blood sugar levels are assayed for diabetic patients. Many patients with MS on treatment report ‘worsening’ despite stable MRI findings. Addition of Fetuin-A measurement will help better evaluate disease activity in such patients.”
The Tisch MS Research Team continues to study the underlying mechanisms of elevation of spinal fluid Fetuin-A to determine its exact role in multiple sclerosis.