A scientific presentation by Univ. at Buffalo Department of Neurology faculty and staff, along with colleagues at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, received a 5-star award at the recent international ECTRIMS meeting on multiple sclerosis in Boston, MA. The investigation, led by Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, MD, who directs the Jacobs MS Center for Treatment and Research, found that Dicer, an RNase III enzyme that generates mature microRNA (miRNA) is downregulated in MS patient white blood cells. Furthermore, Dicer messenger RNA (mRNA) and protein levels are enhanced in those MS patients who respond well to interferon β1A treatment. The group of investigators, which included neurology faculty member David Hojnacki, MD, also demonstrated that miRNA profiles differ between patients with relapsing-remitting MS and those that are in secondary progressive forms of the disease. Specific miRNAs were also differentially expressed in response to IFNβ1a therapy. The work extends and further defines the correlation between different miRNA profiles with disease activity and treatment response in MS, and could be the basis of predictive models for treatment selection and prognosis.
- Members of the Department of Neurology are presenting some 25 papers describing research in multiple sclerosis and related disorders at this year’s ACTRIMS/ECTRIMS meeting being held in Boston, MA from September 9-12, 2014. Department of Neurology and other UB faculty, residents, and staff represented on the many presentations include Ralph Benedict, Allison Drake, Mike Dwyer, Osman Farooq, Bianca Weinstock-Guttman, David Hojnacki, Mary Karpinski, Katelyn Kavak, Channa Kolb, Joy Parrish, Murali Ramanathan, Barbara Teter, and Robert Zivadinov. Topics of the papers include cognitive reserve, neuropsychological assessment, MRI measures of gray matter structures including the thalamus, lifestyle changes, the risk of excess weight in childhood, and treatment advances in both adult and pediatric MS, as well as clinical isolated syndrome and other related diseases.