Here we go!

Taking a look around the internet, trying to find a blog/podcast/newsfeed/whatever, to discuss, learn and update about neuroimmunology i found almost nothing and decided to create this blog with that purpose.

There may not be many neuroimmunologists out there but i think it’ll be enough if a few gather round this blog and comment what will come in the science and clinical practice of our field.

So, anybody interested is welcome to provide information or even write posts, and every one out there is invited to join the discussion (if any).

4 replies on “Here we go!”

I have 3 sons that have had a total of 6 incidents of encephalitis or meningitis over the last 35 years. Currently my 34 year old son has been diagnosed with ADEM, and it is his 3rd brain inflammation. The first 2 occurred between the ages of 5 and 7, and they were all post-infectious. Because we have 3 other children and 13 grandchildren who have not been affected, we would be willing to undergo dna testing if it would help us know if there is some hereditary or genetic component here that would help our family understand this devastating disease and its frequent occurrence in our family. Any suggestions or recommendatoins would be greatly appreciated.

Hi Rose

To test a single gene that could predict the appearance of a specific disease (such as ADEM), first thing is to know the genes that are involved in ADEM (which we don’t know yet). That’s how regular genetic testing is performed.
In the context of research, now there’s the option to try to discover a causal gene of a specific disease even if only one family has the disorder. The problem with that is that is very costly and it can yield no results. Many new genes associated with disorders of previously unknown cause, have been discovered that way. However, as i say, that’s in the context of research because a whole-genome or whole-exome sequencing approach has to be followed.

It’s not very clear to me what type of study you refer to. If it’s the first thing, nobody could tell you now if there’s any gene in your family that could predict disease appearance because we don’t know which specific gene to look at. If what you refer to is the second option, then it depends on whether there’s anybody around your area working in that type of research and if they have any research program ongoing to discover causal genes for other (or similar) diseases. I cannot say who’s working specifically in that but i know who’s working in MS genetics or has experience in doing similar research.

Hope that helps.

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. I actually have no idea what study or test we should seek. I know that my sons have had repeated inflammatory reactions in their brains to certain infections, namely influenza and sinusitis. We would be open to even speaking to a researcher in this area, and would be willing to travel, if necessary. If there is anyone that you could recommend that would be willing to consult with us, to begin, that might be a good start. Here is a link that was sent to me: “ADEM is associated with DRB1*01 and DRB1*017(03) in the Russian population”

Hi again Rose

the association of a gene to a disease does not mean that the gene causes the disease. What those types of study mean is that the presence of that particular gene is more frequent in patients with the disease than in healthy donors, but the proportion of healthy donors that have the same gene can be very high. Imagine that the gene is present in 30% of ADEM patients but in 25% of healthy donors. We can say that the presence of that gene associates to ADEM (because its presence is higher) but is not obviuosly the cause of ADEM because 25% of the population has the same gene…On th other hand there would be a 70% of patients with ADEM that don’t have the mentioned gene.

That’s why i say that we don’t have a gene that we can test to determine if someone is going to suffer the disease.

I don’t know where you live, but, usually, the first person to consult is your neurologist. If you wnat to do something else, he or she could probably tell you who is doing any kinf od research in the field or the one that could contact with other colleagues from other countries that are working in the field nowadays.

Hope this helps to you!

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