CRG and CEXS-UPF: New tools for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in its early stages

CRG and CEXS-UPF: New tools for the diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in its early stages

News from CRG

Scientists at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) develop a new method for early diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. The finding, based on measuring a combination of proteins, makes it possible to accurately predict whether the patient will develop the disease.

Although there is still no cure for multiple sclerosis yet, an early diagnosis is crucial to modify its evolution by slowing its progression. Scientists from the Proteomics Unit of the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) and Pompeu Fabra University, led by Dr. Eduard Sabidó, along with researcher Manuel Comabella of the Multiple Sclerosis Center of Catalonia (Cemcat), the Neuroimmunology Unit of the Vall d'Hebron Research Institute (VHIR), have just published a study in Molecular and Cellular Proteomics proposing a novel method for early multiple sclerosis diagnosis based on detecting and quantifying a combination of proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid.

In their work, the scientists have used mass spectrometry to detect a set of relevant proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid of a high number of patients. After analyzing each of the samples from this study, the researchers have identified the proteins that can predict the risk of developing multiple sclerosis. With these data they have also built a statistical model that, according to the abundance of these proteins in the cerebrospinal fluid, makes it possible to assign the probability of suffering the disease to each patient.

“The use of advanced proteomics technology is becoming more relevant in clinical research, specifically, in diagnostics. This is a clear example of the importance of cooperation between clinical and basic researchers to advance in knowledge and improve people's lives,” states Dr. Eva Borràs of the CRG and UPF Proteomics Unit, and one of the main authors of the study.

More information:
CRG News and CEXS News (in english) 
UPF News (in catalan)

Reference work:
Eva Borràs, Ester Cantó, Meena Choi, Luisa Maria Villar, José Carlos Álvarez-Cermeño, Cristina Chiva, Xavier Montalban, Olga Vitek, Manuel Comabella, and Eduard Sabidó. “Protein-based classifier to predict conversion from Clinically Isolated Syndrome to Multiple Sclerosis” Molecular & Cellular Proteomics. 2016