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September 13, 2019: At Journal Club, our experts sat down to discuss a paper on biomarkers of intestinal barrier function and their role in multiple sclerosis.
Camara-Lemarroy et al 2019 - Biomarkers of intestinal barrier function in multiple sclerosis are associated with disease activity
There is evidence to suggest a role for the gut-brain axis (the body’s signaling that happens between the gut and the brain) in the development and progression of MS. This research group sought to investigate this by studying intestinal biomarkers in patients with relapsing-remitting (RRMS) and progressive MS. They compared the blood levels of zonulin (a protein involved in absorption in the gut) in MS patients to levels in healthy controls. The researchers found that zonulin concentrations were associated with disease progression in progressive MS and mirrors blood-brain barrier breakdown in RRMS. Further research is needed to fully understand how the gut-brain axis is involved in MS.