Pregnancy Could Cure MS
Now, for the first time, an MS Society-funded study at Oxford University will attempt to find some answers and harness the power of pregnancy in order to develop new and better treatments.
"In MS, immune cells attack the brain and spinal cord," explains immunologist Prof Lars Fugger, who is leading the project at the Oxford Centre for Neuroinflammation.
"Many of the current drugs offered to patients are designed to suppress the immune system, but they often have serious side effects and patients can catch infections.
During pregnancy, women with MS find that their disease is reduced, even after stopping their medications, which suggests that their bodies are capable of suppressing disease directly - and that happens without side effects," he says.
"We want to identify what specifically drives this reduced disease. Once we have identified these targets, we hope to be able to either design new drugs or to repurpose drugs already used for other diseases, which may offer protection with fewer side effects.”