CategoryLab Lessons

Ocrelizumab: DODO vs. ADIOS, who will win?

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★ In response to a question over the weekend about what has happened to the DODO and ADIOS studies. Both are alive and kicking. The more insightful question would be ‘how can I support both the DODO (double-dose ocrelizumab study) and the ADIOS (adaptive dosing ocrelizumab study) studies?’. Surely, the DODO and ADIOS studies are incompatible with each...

How do statins work?

We all know that statins are used as cholesterol lowering drugs. They are on trial for progressive MS. However the questions arises….If they work, how do statins work in progressive MS? If the answer is “I don’t know”….it is becuase the listener thinks that it is a trick question? They should say it is an HMG-CoA inhibitor and it blocks the conversion of HMG-Co-A...

The blinding lights of ‘Mesenchymal Stem Cell Transplantation’

Recently, the first phase II double-blinded trial of mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) transplantation in MS was published. MSC reside mainly in the bone marrow compartment. These stem cells can differentiate into a variety of cell types, including osteoblasts (bone cells), chondrocytes (cartilage cells), myocytes (muscle cells) and adipocytes (fat tissue). They do not evolve into immune cells. To...

Science corner: Suppressor plasma cells or is it?

Today this is abit technical and it is abit of a lab lesson. Don’t read if you are not interested. Why do I do these posts? Well this is about learning and we can learn together. I am going to read these papers to understand them, so why not make a blog post at the same time. Some readers like the science. I know you come to get insight about MS but it is really ProfG and NDG who do the...

Ibudilast in Progressive MS: Hope with the size of a peanut

Neuroprotection has been a tough nut to crack in MS, and essentially we are still eagerly waiting for the first drug that improves neuronal survival without impacting on inflammation (such as our beloved CD20 antibodies or siponimod). Ibudilast is one of the latest molecules that has tried to influence progression in pwMS… In the 2018, Ibudilast (n=129) was compared with placebo (n=126) in...

What Einstein forgot: Multiple Sclerosis curbs “spacetime”

We all know that time is relentless and cruel. However, do you believe it ticks at the same imperturbable pace for all of Earth’s inhabitants?  This has been a controversial topic among scientists, and one of Einsteins biggest mindboggles. Newton believed time was absolute “true time”. If the universe was to be frozen, time would tick on regardless (lockdown has taught us this is definitely...

Has pharma made a mistake with BTK inhibitors? Are microglia the good guys that shouldn’t be inhibited? Don’t worry. It’s all about Balance.

I’m a fan of “you can’t have it both ways” and it means that if you say this is good for that you can’t say the opposite is good for that too. So if you have a good guy you want to augment it for it to be good, but if you get rid of the good guy you would think it is going to be be bad. When you are a mechanistic science you sometimes don’t think about the...

Remyelination: why have we failed?

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★ I sit on several steering committees and advisory boards for projects that are exploring remyelination or recovery of function as a treatment strategy in MS. Doing this allows you to think or groupthink, which has prompted me to consider whether remyelination in MS is necessary or not. I have been scratching my head about why in 2020 three remyelination strategies...

Rebound after treatment withdrawal says the important cells for relapse are…yep you got it!

ProfG always said the rebound that occurs after natalizumab was going to be one of the best ways to work out what are the important disease drivers in MS. Natalizumab is a brake for pathogenic cells entering the brain, Remove the brake and cells go in and trigger disease activation. Sadly by the time of thinking about this, strategies to stop rebound were developed and as we would switch...

Eight Swallows

Barts-MS rose-tinted-odometer: ★★★★★ How many swallows make a summer? Is eight enough?  If MS is caused by EBV you would expect there to be clusters of MS potentially linked to a specific subtype of the virus. The best-studied MS cluster is the one from Fjelsø, a small village of 74 families in rural Denmark, where eight people closely linked to each other all developed MS within 13 years of each...

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