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Novel molecular imaging probes to predict disability progression and evaluate therapies in MS

Kort fortalt

Land: Frankrig
Hovedforsker: Bruno Stankoff
Primær instution: INSERM - Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale; Paris

Project Summary:

Available therapies in multiple sclerosis all target the auto-immune component of the disease, making them effective in reducing relapse rate, but generally failing to reduce long term disability and disease progression. New therapeutic strategies able to reduce the inflammation that resides within the central nervous system, called compartmentalized inflammation, or to promote myelin repair, are the most promising approaches that could succeed in preventing disability progression. New imaging technology to measure these mechanisms in vivo (in a living organism), which cannot be accomplished with classical magnetic resonance imaging techniques, must be developed to evaluate such new treatments.

Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear imaging technology where a chemical probe that specifically binds to a target of interest is labelled with a radioactive positron emitting radionuclide and injected into individuals.  This method provides quantitative imaging of the target in the brain, and opens up the perspective to visualize and quantify the cells involved in compartmentalized inflammation and remyelination. This project will bring together partners with complementary expertise in the molecular imaging field, with the objective to develop and apply in clinical studies new imaging probes that will allow to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in inflammation and myelin repair. Additionally, the project will utilize PET scans to study changes in microglia  which could indicate whether MS disease activity is being reduced, and further enable testing of potential treatments on small numbers of people over short periods of time before having to go forward to a large study.