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Dr. Judith Fraussen and Prof. Veerle Somers

Age-associated B cells as therapeutic targets in MS


€ 45.000 / 2 years
BIOMED- UHasselt

Aging of the immune system occurs during normal aging but also in a proportion of individuals with MS, and is characterized by elevated age-associated B cells (ABCs) in the blood. Our previous research indicated increased ABCs in the blood of 1/5 of individuals with MS younger than 60 years. These cells were also present in the cerebrospinal fluid and showed pro-inflammatory functions that could contribute to the disease. Therefore, removing or blocking of these ABCs could be useful in MS therapy. We aim to identify targets for therapy that are specifically expressed in ABCs. This could eventually lead to a more specific and personalized treatment for MS with minimal side-effects.

Age-associated B cells are elevated in the blood of 1/5 of individuals with MS and show pro-inflammatory functions which makes them an ideal target for a specific and efficient new therapy.