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Research, ever present

This latest newsletter of the Charcot Foundation is devoted to the various stages of biomedical research, from the laboratory to the patient's bed (Prof Piet Stinissen) and in the more specific field of multiple sclerosis (Prof Vincent van Pesch).

It illustrates the complexity and time it takes to complete innovative work, the development of new technical tools, the creation of new therapeutic concepts, feasibility tests using experimental animal models, and, finally the “full scale” trials on people and human diseases. Piet Stinissen quite rightly reminds us that some new treatments of MS use monoclonal antibodies, whose discovery dates back to 1975, and which earned Köhler and Milstein the Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Summer is here but where is the sun?

Vitamin D deficiency is frequent in Northern Europe as 90% of Vitamin D is synthesized in the skin under the effect of the sun’s ultraviolet irradiation. Low Vitamin D blood levels in childhood and adolescence are a factor in the development of multiple sclerosis in adulthood. In a Finnish study published in March 2016, mothers with inadequate Vitamin D levels in early pregnancy almost doubled the risk of their children developing multiple sclerosis.