Researchers at The University of Bristol have discovered how an allergy treatment, known as “allergic desensitisation”, could be used to treat autoimmune diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis.
Autoimmune diseases cause a person’s immune system to produce an inappropriate response against the body’s own tissues – in simple terms bad cells attack good ones. By singling out the aggressive cells that attack the surrounding healthy tissue, scientists have found a way to convert the aggressive cells into protective ones.
Allergic desensitisation, which is usually applied to allergies, could be the answer for the one in 10 Australians who suffer the disease.
To be effective, the treatment needs to be applied through a “dose escalation strategy” in order to successfully reinstate self-antigen-specific tolerance to the cells, without compromising immune function.
While the immunotherapeutic approach is still undergoing clinical development, it could replace the need for suffers to avoid taking high-risk immune suppressive drugs.
Nature Communications has more.
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