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"Excess Body Fat Spurs Disease Progression by Impact on Immune Cells, Study Suggests" - Marisa Wexler

  • Multiple Sclerosis News Today
  • New York, NY
  • (April 12, 2019)

A link between fat molecules called ceramides and worsening disease in overweight and obese people with multiple sclerosis (MS) appears to exist, a study reports, with its findings suggesting that ceramides prompt the growth of immune cells called monocytes, which in turn spurs disease progression. The study results, published in EbioMedicine, strengthen the likelihood that lifestyle factors, like diet and weight, can act as disease modifiers. “This study gives us a much-needed view into the environmental influences that can affect and change the behavior of cells in an individual’s body,” said first author of the study, Kamilah Castro, graduate assistant at the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “Our findings suggest that increased levels of saturated fat as a result of dietary habits are one likely cause of the epigenetic changes that advance MS, which gives us a starting point for a potential intervention.”

— Kamilah Castro, Graduate Assistant, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

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Additional coverage: Neuroscience News; Science Magazine