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GMSI Award 2016 – Award Winners Yuval Dor, Adi Vaknin, Klemens Ruprecht, and colleagues

Adi Vaknin

This lecture was given at the Grant for Multiple Sclerosis Innovation Awards Event on September 15, 2016 in London. The GMSI award is sponsored by Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany.

Use of circulating cell-free DNA from dying cells as a source of markers of axonal damage. Dying cells release DNA fragments into circulation and the origin of this circulating cell-free DNA can be determined by its methylation profile. The team has developed a method to identify DNA in plasma from dying neurons and oligodendrocytes from the brain in MS patients, from pancreatic ϐ-cell death in type 1 diabetes, and in brain cell death following traumatic brain damage. In a pilot study, when Myelin Basic Protein (MBP) and White Matter 1 were measured in stable and actively relapsing MS patients, stable patients showed low levels of the markers, and relapsing patients had higher levels. Next steps are to determine if these markers can be used as biomarkers for monitoring disease activity, for selecting appropriate therapies based on disease activity, for predicting relapse and for monitoring response to therapy. 

Professor Yuval Dor and Professor Adi Vaknin, Medial Center, Jerusalem, Israel Charite-Universitatsmedizin and Dr Klemens Ruprecht, Hadassah Hebrew University, Berlin, Germany