Neuroinflammatory diseases are characterized as diseases of the central nervous system (CNS). Multiple sclerosis is the most common disabling neuroinflammatory disease among young adults. It is known as a chronic autoimmune disease where inflammatory demyelination and neurodegeneration occur in the CNS.

Biomarkers play a crucial role in better understanding the complexity of multiple sclerosis and the heterogeneity of the disease, as they allow for improved characterization and prediction of individual patients, ultimately leading to successful treatments. The utilization of biomarkers helps in providing a diagnosis for multiple sclerosis, predicting the prognosis, assessing therapy response, identifying novel treatment targets, and identifying side effects, addressing the unmet needs of multiple sclerosis.

Immune cell activity and remodeling of the extracellular matrix are prominent features of multiple sclerosis. Quantifying disease activity in multiple sclerosis provides valuable insights into the structural lesions and functional changes in the pathogenesis of the disease.

Furthermore, one of the crucial aspects of biomarkers is their ability to monitor disease activity, including the occurrence of new neurological symptoms and the rate of relapses.

Browse our unique multiple sclerosis biomarkers

Neutrophils, as the most abundant circulating innate myeloid cells, have garnered significant attention for their involvement in the pathogenesis of Multiple Sclerosis. These cells have been found to play a crucial role in the disease's progression.

The biomarker, CPa9-HNE, measuring neutrophil activity in blood, is increased in patients with MS, compared to healthy donors, Figure 1.

The activation and involvement of neutrophils may contribute to the inflammatory response and subsequent damage seen in multiple sclerosis. Understanding the role of neutrophils and their activity in multiple sclerosis may hold significant implications for the development of novel diagnostic tools, therapeutic interventions, and targeted treatments that aim to modulate the inflammatory response and improve patient outcomes.

Figure 1. 
Neutrophil activity is upregulated in patients with multiple sclerosis

Neuroinflammatory diseases encompass a group of disorders that primarily affect the central nervous system (CNS). Among these conditions, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) stands out as the most prevalent and debilitating neuroinflammatory disease affecting young adults. It is characterized by chronic autoimmune processes leading to inflammatory demyelination and neurodegeneration within the CNS.

The hallmark of neuroinflammatory diseases like MS is the dysregulation of the immune system, which mistakenly targets components of the CNS as foreign entities. In the case of MS, the immune system launches an attack on the myelin sheath, a protective covering that surrounds nerve fibers in the CNS. This immune-mediated assault leads to inflammation and subsequent damage to the myelin, resulting in the formation of scar tissue or sclerosis.

The demyelination process in MS disrupts the normal transmission of electrical signals along nerve fibers. As a consequence, individuals with MS often experience a wide range of neurological symptoms depending on the affected regions of the CNS. These symptoms can include muscle weakness, impaired coordination, numbness or tingling sensations, vision problems, and cognitive difficulties.

In addition to demyelination, neurodegeneration also occurs in MS. The chronic inflammation and ongoing immune response within the CNS can lead to the destruction of nerve cells and their connections, resulting in permanent damage. Over time, this neurodegenerative aspect of MS can contribute to the progressive accumulation of disability and the worsening of symptoms.

Efforts to manage neuroinflammatory diseases like MS typically involve a combination of treatments aimed at suppressing the abnormal immune response, reducing inflammation, and alleviating symptoms. Disease-modifying therapies (DMTs) are often prescribed to modify the course of the disease and slow down its progression. These treatments can help manage relapses and delay disability progression in many individuals.

Browse our list of neuroscience biomarkers

The applications presented here are for research use only.

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