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Common Bacteria Linked to MS

Research suggests that a common oral bacteria may increase autoimmune disease. Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a disease where the immune system attacks the brain and spinal cord. It currently affects nearly around 1 in 700 people in the United States. Patients with MS have a variety of neurological symptoms, including difficulty in moving, difficulty in speech, and muscle weakness. Porphyromas gingivalis, a common oral bacterium in humans, produces a unique type of lipid, phosphorylated dihydroceramides (DHCs), which enhance inflammatory responses. These lipids are also likely produced by bacteria found in other parts of the body including the gastrointestinal tract. Researchers led byFrank C. Nichols and Robert B. Clark of the University of Connecticut Health Center administered phosphorylated DHCs in a mouse model of MS to determine if these lipids cause immune-mediated damage in autoimmune disease. The severity of disease was significantly enhanced by the addition of these lipids in a manner that was dependent on activation of the immune system. Thus the data shows  phosphorylated DHCs from bacteria commonly found in humans may trigger and/or increase the severity of autoimmune diseases such as MS. In addition to the role of these lipids in triggering and worsening MS, the authors believe […]

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