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Interview with Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant on potential new therapeutics and the influence of diet

Dr. Waubant interview

Interview with Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant, Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco.

Dr. Waubant discussed some interesting new work that is currently in late-phase clinical trials on possible therapeutics for remyelination, such as high doses of biotin. These trials are looking at repair by focusing on one specific anatomic pathway. One interesting trial is ongoing in patients with progressive MS on high doses on biotin. Another interesting trial is ongoing in patients with acute optic neuritis treated with a monoclonal antibody targeted to LINGO-1. These trials are the results of many years of in vitro and in vivo research that is now finally being examined in patients with MS.

Dr. Waubant also discusses the influence of diet on the pathogenesis and progression of MS. Newly diagnosed patients with MS were given food frequency questionnaires to analyze their diets. The study included over 200 pediatric patients with MS and over 300 controls. High salt intake was suggested to increase MS disease in animal models, but little was known about the role of salt in human disease. However, this case-control study found that high salt intake does not influence the risk of developing MS. Additionally, the researchers found that salt intake was not associated with proinflammatory markers. Fat and fiber intake has also been looked at in this population, and no relationship was observed. The individual diets of the participants were of low quality, with a low intake of fiber and a large proportion of calories derived from fat. Next, the researchers will look at the interaction of the genome with diet and the risk for MS as well as other individual dietary factors. Other research has shown that dietary factors such as caffeine may be neuroprotective.