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Multiple sclerosis study indicates it could be detected earlier

Multiple sclerosis is a debilitating condition that affects several people in New York and millions worldwide. MS is a condition in which a person's immune system wrongly attacks his or her central nervous system. Although the symptoms of MS vary, some people experience balance and speech problems, numbness or even paralysis. Unfortunately, there is no known cure for MS right now, but researchers continue to study the chronic disease in hopes of a breakthrough.

Recently, one MS study had some promising results. Researchers found that the presence of a certain antibody in an individual's blood could predict whether they will develop MS at some point in their life.

Researchers analyzed blood samples from 32 people -- 16 who went on to develop MS and 16 who did not. Researchers did not find any signs of the KIR4.1 antibody in the blood samples of those who never developed MS. They did, however, find it in seven samples from people who developed MS, and found relevant antibody activity in two others.

After these findings, which were taken less than a year before the individuals developed MS, researchers studied blood samples that were taken several years before a person was diagnosed with MS. They discovered that the antibodies could be detected years before a patient ever suspects they have MS.

Hopefully the findings of this study will prompt greater research and ultimately adjusted medical practices that can help catch early signs of MS. Today, however, many people are unaware of the condition until they experience clear symptoms. Although MS symptoms are manageable for some people, they often affect a person's ability to work. In those cases, seeking Social Security disability is a good option.

Source: Medical News Today, "In multiple sclerosis, antibodies detected years before symptoms," Catharine Paddock, Feb. 25, 2014National Multiple Sclerosis Society, "Multiple Sclerosis FAQs," Feb. 26, 2014

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