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Scientists find MS, intestinal barrier link

9/9/2014

Lund University researchers have discovered a link between multiple sclerosis and changes in intestinal barrier function in the early stages of the disease. Scientists believe that the discovery may lead to future treatments for MS that focus not only on the central nervous system, but ‘leaky gut syndrome’ as well.

This animal model study shows an increase in inflammatory T-cells in the mucous membrane and small intestine and a reduction in immunosuppressive regulatory T-cells. The increase in inflammation is apparent in early stages of the disease.

According to Dr. Shahram Lavasani, one of the authors of the study, “Our findings provide support for the idea that a damaged intestinal barrier can prevent the body ending an autoimmune reaction in the normal manner, leading to a chronic disease such as MS.”

The study was published in the journal PLOS ONE.



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