MS therapy can ‘normalize’ microbiome – Medicine/Therapy – Multiple Sclerosis News

Data have long pointed to changes in the gut microbiome in patients with multiple sclerosis. We need an intact intestinal flora to live. It is made up of a plethora of bacteria and other pathogens, such as yeasts. MS patients tend to have a less heterogeneous biome and those strains of pathogens that support the inflammatory process of MS, perhaps even help to trigger it, predominate. There are already some results of studies in this regard.

These provide information about the appearance and the pathophysiology of MS and can identify new therapeutic targets. In fact, the altered microbiome could be involved in the development of MS, but also be the result of MS. However, little research has been done on how immunomodulatory therapies for MS affect the gut microbiome and metabolism of the patient. A current study addresses this.

MS therapy changes the microbiome

Scientists, including Prof. Anne-Katrin Pröbstel, winner of the Sobek Young Talent Award 2022, and Prof. Ludwig Kappos, winner of the Sobek Award 2017, have now been able to show that gut bacteria in patients undergoing immunomodulatory therapy shift more towards the composition of healthy people In addition, the research team found that the presence of clinically relevant side effects during dimethyl fumarate therapy (lymphopenia) is related to the composition of the microbiome.

20 patients with relapsing-remitting MS (RRMS) and a mean age of 42 years (range 23-59) were included in the study. Certain metabolic values ​​in the blood and microorganisms in the intestine were examined and compared before, during, and 12 months after the initiation of dimethyl fumarate therapy. Any previously taken immunomodulators were also taken into account.

Also lymphopenia controlled by the microbiome

both in Serum as in the intestine, scientists struck gold. There was a shift towards pathogenic or anti-inflammatory groups in MS. Therefore, a tendency for side effects such as lymphopenia (too low numbers of certain white blood cells) with dimethyl fumarate could be related to the composition of the gut microbiome prior to initiation of therapy. More research is needed to verify the findings and break them down more precisely.

In summary, current data indicates that immunomodulatory therapies not only affect immune cells, but also have a positive effect on the gut microbiome, and that gut bacteria modulate the clinical side effects of therapy.

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