Epitope diagnostics to predict progression from optic neuritis to multiple sclerosis

Takeaway

  • Antigen epitopes targeted by the immune system in people with multiple sclerosis (MS) may act as blood biomarkers for the early diagnosis of MS and predict progression from optic neuritis (ON) to MS.

Why this matters

  • ON is one of the first symptoms seen in ~20% of individuals with MS; ON may occur in ~ 50% of people with MS during the course of their disease.

  • MS is an autoimmune disease where B and T cells are thought to target central nervous system (CNS) antigens. The etiology of MS is not well understood, but some studies have hypothesized a link between viral infections and MS.

  • This study provides a better understanding of the antigen epitopes targeted by the immune system and shows that two of the epitopes identified are common to viral pathogens. These findings could lead to novel prognostic markers for the development of MS after ON and could add to the understanding of MS etiology.