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Protein may hold key to treatment for MS sufferers

By Rod Minchin

A major discovery has been made towards finding the cause of multiple sclerosis - potentially paving the way for new treatments.

Scientists have found a cellular mechanism which may cause the disease, and a potential hallmark which could be a target for future treatment of the autoimmune disorder.

Using human brain tissue samples, researchers at the Universities of Exeter and Alberta found that a protein called Rab32 is present in large quantities in the brains of people with MS - but is virtually absent in healthy brain cells.

Rab32 ultimately causes toxicity for brain cells in people with MS.

The finding will enable scientists to search for effective treatments that target Rab32 and embark on determining whether there are other proteins which may play a role in triggering MS.

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