Thursday, December 27, 2012

Nanoparticle Treatment of Autoimmune Disease

You can buy your very own poly(lactide-co-glycolide) suture material here. But I wouldn't recommend it. 

Thanks to Gill for sending this link to an interesting article by  Maggie Fox, NBC News: New Approach Could Treat MS, Other Autoimmune Diseases.

The article uses very understandable language to explain a new potential therapy which "educates" our destructive T cells with the result that they don't destroy healthy normal cells. You can refresh your memory about autoimmunity, T cells, and why a T cell on an incorrect mission is dangerous here.

I've read about nanoparticle treatment in other scientific articles in which the language was so complex that it left me scratching my head in puzzlement. Ms. Fox has done a great job in making this very difficult concept much simpler. Here's a small section of this article, but please read it in it's entirety, here.

     Researchers trying to find a way to treat multiple sclerosis think they’ve come up with an approach that could not only help patients with MS, but those with a range of so-called autoimmune diseases, from type-1 diabetes to psoriasis, and perhaps even food allergies.
So far it’s only worked in mice, but it has worked especially well. And while mice are different from humans in many ways, their immune systems are quite similar.
     “If this works, it is going to be absolutely fantastic,” said Bill Heetderks, who directs outside research at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of Health, which helped pay for the research. “Even if it doesn’t work, it’s going to be another step down the road.”

Read on to find out what role absorbable sutures have to play in this intriguing therapy. Interesting. VERY interesting.

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