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Ph.d.-projekt: Epidemiologiske, kliniske og immunologiske aspekter af neuromyelitis optica (NMO)

By neurologist, ph.d. student Nasrin Asgari, Department of Neurology, Vejle Hospital and Institute of Regional Health Services Research, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southern,Odense university Hospital.
Background: Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is a severe inflammatory demyelinating CNS disorder, which predominantly affects the spinal cord and optic nerves, and later the brain. Recently, highly specific serum antibodies to aquaporin-4 (AQP4), the most abundant water channel in the CNS, have been identified. Demonstration of such autoantibodies separate NMO from multiple sclerosis (MS) and indicate that NMO is an autoimmune channelopathy disease. There is a strong relationship between AQP4-Abs titres and the clinical state as well as the clinical course of disease. 

Aim: The aims of the study are to:
1) Estimate the prevalence of NMO in the region of Southern Denmark
2) Investigate immunological serum markers and HLA-types in NMO patients and the co-morbidity with other autoimmune disorders 3) Characterise aquaporin-4 antibodies in in-vitro experiments
4) In a MS-mouse model to characterise the pathogenic effects of aquaporin-4 antibodies in CNS and perform experimental treatment. 

Status: The project has started November 2008.

Hovedvejleder: Institutleder, lektor Kirsten Ohm Kyvik, ph.d., MPM, Institut for Regional Sundhedsforskning.

Professor Trevor Owens, Ph.D., Medical Biotechnology Centre, University of Southern Denmark
Consultant Egon Stenager, Neurologisk afdeling, Vejle, Esbjerg, Sønderborg Sygehuse
Professor, dr.med. Jørgen Frøkiær, Clinical Physiology Skejby Hospital and Århus University
Consultant Søren Lillevang, Ph.D. Clinical Immunology Department, OUH (collaborator)


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