Scientists from the Division of Clinical Neuroscience (DCN) in collaboration with a virologist from the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science and an epidemiologist from the Division of Rheumatology showed a strong association between Human Endogenous Retroviruses (HERVs) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
The study has just been published in PLoS One and confirms a likely role for HERVs in the aetiology of MS. The researchers performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature about the available data on the expression of different HERV families in MS patients. They found an increased expression of HERV-Wenv and HERV-Wpol RNA in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid of MS patients compared to controls.
The lead investigator, Dr Bruno Gran, pointed out the importance of this qualitative and quantitative analysis to clarify current controversies on the association of HERVs and MS.
The research group plans to extend the study to better understand the nature and pathophysiology of this association.
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