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The Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Research Team

Oluf Andersen
, Professor
Tel.: 46-31-342 9066, 46-733-705625
E-mail: oluf.andersen@neuro.gu.se




Jan Lycke
, assoc. Professor
Tel.: 46-31-342 9047, 0733-109149
E-mail: jan.lycke@neuro.gu.se




The MS research group at the institute of Neuroscience and Physiology, the Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg:
Oluf Andersen, professor
Jan Lycke, assoc. professor
Björn Runmarker, MD PhD
Sara Haghighi, MD PhD
Cecilia Ahlgren, PhD
Clas Malmeström, MD PhD
Bengt Skoog, MD PhD
Natalia Mossberg, MD PhD
Helen Tedeholm BSci
Markus Axelsson, MD
Maria Kneider, MD
Christina Sundal, MD
Lenka Novakova, MD
Zoltan Fekete, MD
Ylva Kastrup, MD

Ongoing projects

1. We study different subclinical variants of MS, immunological or neurochemical partial MS symptoms in healthy individuals, mainly healthy relatives. These conditions (endophenotypes) in healthy people are called “MS traits”. The aim is to "dissect" complex MS genetics into simpler components and to examine the basis for preclinical MS therapy.
With the collaboration of Maria Blomquist, PhD and Maria Ljungberg PhD.

2. We study whether MS may heal completely by investigation of patients with a benign course efter 5 decades, at the age of population age expectancy in Sweden. We also include patients who had only one bout. These patients are examined neuropsychologically concerning possible cognitive disturbances, and with MRI searching for active lesions. This provides unique insights into the real prognosis of MS, invaluable for therapeutic decisions.
With the collaboration of Staffan Winblad, dr. Lars Jönsson, SU, and Sven Ekholm, professor at the University of Rochester, USA.

3. In these patients with an extremely benign course, the expression of T-cell activity (granzyme) and Toll-like receptor activity in the CSF examined with DNA-array as well as the activity in the innate defence (the respiratory burst) are compared with data from more active course to obtain information on inhibiting and facilitating characteristics.
With the collaboration of Margareta Järnås PhD, Bob Olsson Assoc. Professor, and Hans Wadenvik, Professor, SU.

4. We develop a method, virtual placebo, which enables us to compare currently treated patients with untreated historical controls. We use hazard functions and stratification by predictors to eliminate irrelevant differences and isolate the effects of therapy. This provides us with an unique method to examine the long term capacity of early immunomodulating MS therapy to postpone the subsequent progressive phase and reduce MS-related disability.
With the collaboration of the Swedish MS register

5. We examine mechanisms of axonal degeneration in a “model disease” which is monogenic , with the aim to find the disease-causing mutation but also in search of mutations causing neurodegeneration, a process which is known to be decisive for the severe progressive symptoms in MS.
With the collaboration of Zbigniew Wsolek. Professor, the Mayo Clinic at Jacksonville, USA.

6. We also utilize our findings of glycolipid antigens in MS to develop - in the first place in experimental animals - tolerance therapy with these glycolipids.
With the collaboration of the Neurochemistry Lab, the Department of Immunology, SU, and Swedish Oat Ltd.

7. We examine with RT-PCR the possible presence of RNA viruses in the bone marrow compared with hematological controls.
With the collaboration of prof. Tomas Bergström ,Professor at the Department of Virology, SU and Stefan Jacobsson, Assoc.Professor, Clinical Chemistry, SU.

8. Epidemiology. From Swedish health-, population-, and MS-registries the national MS prevalence was recently estimated. The influence on MS risk from migration is explored. This is of importance for identifying possible risk factors as well as protective factors for MS.
With the collaboration of the Swedish MS register

9. T-cell cytotoxicity. Genes of T-cell cytotoxicity in CD3 cells in CSF and peripheral blood are determined with micro-array technique. This might have therapeutic implications.
With the collaboration of Bob Olsson Assoc Professor, SU.

10. Pathophysiological mechanisms in secondary progressive (SP) MS. Clinical measures, MRI, and determination of biomarkers in peripheral blood and CSF are used for characterising SPMS. We recently found that GFAP in CSF was a marker and predictor for progression. The project is of importance for identifying pathophysiological mechanisms that might have therapeutic implications.
With the collaboration of the Neurochemistry Lab., SU.

11. Polyoma- and herpesvirus during MS therapies. Gene expression of polyoma- and herpesvirus is determined in urine, peripheral blood, nasopharynx and CSF of MS patients before and during different immunomodulatory/immunosuppressive treatments. It is important to determine the influence from MS therapies on reactivation of latent and opportunistic virus infection which have implications for safety.
With the collaboration of Tomas Bergström, Professor at the Department of Virology, SU

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