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Study: antibody could be an MS indicator

The severity and consistency of multiple sclerosis symptoms can vary from person to person. Thus, some MS sufferers are able to continue working, while others are not. This variability can give rise to some difficulties when it comes to seeking Social Security Disability benefits for MS. Thus, MS sufferers who are applying for such benefits in relation to the disease should consider seeking out the help and advice of a disability attorney who understands the specific criteria that the Social Security Administration looks at when it comes to disability claims for MS.

One thing that can influence how great of an impact a disease's symptoms have on an individual is how early the person is diagnosed with the disease. The earlier a disease an individual has is diagnosed, the sooner the person can receive treatments for the active symptoms and potential symptoms of the disease. This can have an overall beneficial effect for a disease sufferer.

Recently, a finding was made in an MS-related study which could perhaps, someday, lead to a test being developed that could help some individuals with MS get an earlier diagnosis.

The study was led by a researcher from Germany and it had 32 subjects. Half of the subjects have been diagnosed with MS and the other half do not have the disease.

All of the subjects are former blood donors. In the study, the researchers analyzed blood samples taken from the subjects. In the case of the individuals who now have an MS diagnosis, the samples are from as early as six years prior to the individuals showing symptoms of the disease.

The researchers found that around half of the individuals who now have an MS diagnosis had blood samples which tested positive for a certain antibody, the KIR4.1 antibody. Meanwhile, none of the blood samples of the individuals who don't have MS tested positive for this antibody.

These results indicate that the antibody might be an indicator of a person having MS and that it might have the potential to show up in a person's blood stream well before they start displaying MS symptoms. One could see how, if the antibody is ultimately found to have the above-mentioned potential properties, tests for it could potentially be a valuable early diagnosis method for some MS sufferers. Thus, further research regarding this antibody will be something worth watching for.

Source: Medical Daily, "Test May Catch MS Years Before Symptoms Develop; Antibody In The Bloodstream Could Represent Early Biomarker," John Ericson, Feb. 23, 2014

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