Multiple Sclerosis: Plant Peptides Slows Progression of Disease in Animal Models
Christian Gruber and his collaborative team at MedUni Vienna in Austria have showed that plant cyclopeptides can be used to halt progression of multiple sclerosis in animal models.
Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease that attacks central nervous system neurons, causing inflammation and neurodegeneration. Common symptoms of MS include: doubled or blurred vision, muscle weakness, paralysis, tremors, unusual sensations, urinary incontinence, and dizziness that gradually progress in severity. Current medical treatment for multiple sclerosis ease the severity of episodic “attacks” and slow the progression of the disease, but there is currently no cure for the disorder.
Cyclopeptides are commonly found in most major plant families, including coffee plants and grasses. The peptide was administered as an oral medication to the test subjects, an additional positive aspect of the treatment as most MS medications must be given intravenously. The cyclopeptides act by blocking the release of the pro-inflammatory substance interleukin-2, which in turn initiates the T-cell mediated immune response in the central nervous system. The inflammatory pathway is active in other types of autoimmune disorders, indicating possible alternative use of cyclopeptides to treat diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
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