About

Copious research efforts have been undertaken in MS research in the last three decades to unravel immune mechanisms in the periphery thought to be responsible for disease onset and effector mechanisms mediating CNS damage.  However, the underlying molecular causes of MS are still not understood and prognostic estimates can hardly be given to patients in the absence of valid surrogate markers.  Traditional therapeutic disease modifying regimens aim at immunomodulation or immunosuppression and were developed in the context of autoimmune research in conjunction with other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease and diabetes mellitus.  However, response to anti-inflammatory therapeutic interventions differs significantly between MS and other autoimmune disorders.  Moreover, in many MS patients, response to the current interventions has only limited impact on disease progression.  Finally, novel therapies in MS aimed at reducing the CNS-directed immune responses are associated with a severe risk for opportunistic CNS infection.

There is currently an urgent need to go back to basics and apply completely novel ideas and unconventional methods as well as brand new technologies to research in this area.  Now is the time to take up the challenge and, for the first time in Germany, promote interaction between strong research groups at three different sites that all have the ideal prerequisites for illuminating and expanding highly novel and innovative perspectives in MS research.  The goal of this consortium, which consists of scientists from centers in the Rhine-Main area, Münster and Munich, is to unravel the pathology of MS and develop as well as understand novel therapeutic concepts.  The ideal prerequisites for such progress are provided by effectively linking scientists from neighboring disciplines with classical neuroimmunologists, who possess a proven track record in MS research and patient care and arise from an important and internationally visible nucleus in this field.  One key aspect here is the strong bidirectional crosstalk between pure experimental research in animal models and clinical research in human systems and patients, which allows the best transfer of basic knowledge into clinical care – and vice versa.

News

Tue, 08/09/2020
Study with identical twins shows that the early form of multiple sclerosis has a specific pattern
The tremendous heterogeneity of the human population presents a major obstacle in understanding how autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS) contribute to variations in human peripheral immune signatures. To minimize heterogeneity, SFB researchers from Munich and Muenster made use of a unique cohort of 43 monozygotic twin pairs clinically discordant for MS and searched for […]...more
Mon, 09/03/2020
Breakthrough: SFB scientsists explain pathomechanism of Susac Syndrome
Münster. Neuroinflammation is often associated with blood-brain-barrier dysfunction, which contributes to neurological tissue damage. In a paper published in the renowned journal Nature Communications SFB 128 scientists from Mueenster reveal the pathophysiology of Susac syndrome (SuS), an enigmatic neuroinflammatory disease with central nervous system (CNS) endotheliopathy. By investigating immune cells from the blood, cerebrospinal fluid, […]...more
Wed, 04/03/2020
The brain is less immune-priviledged than we thought
Münster. Although the CNS is immune privileged, continuous search for pathogens and tumours by immune cells within the CNS is indispensable. Thus, distinct immune-cell populations also cross the blood–brain barrier independently of inflammation/under homeostatic conditions. It was previously shown that effector memory T cells populate healthy CNS parenchyma in humans and, independently, that CCR5-expressing lymphocytes […]...more