Marie D’hooghe (staff)
Guy Nagels (staff)
Ron Kooijman (staff)
Stephanie Hostenbach (PhD student)
Tatjana Reynders (PhD student)
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory neurodegenerative disorder mainly affecting young adults. The cause of the disorder is unknown and the disease course is heterogeneous.
Several lines of evidence point to a dysfunction of astrocytes, which are involved in controlling immune responses, energy metabolism and perfusion of the central nervous system. The role of astrocytes in MS is investigated in in vitro systems, mouse models, and and neuroimaging studies in patients with MS. Findings are further evaluated in proof-of-concept studies, which may lead to clinical trials with new therapeutic approaches.
By investigating factors that influence the course of the disease we hope to find
clues of new mechanisms that may protect MS patients against new lesion formation and the axonal degeneration responsible for the progressive phase. A current area of interest is the role of the gut microbioma and the autonomic nervous system in MS.
A third line of research involves the mechanisms of cognitive dysfunction ins MS (part of the research theme “Cognition and modelling“).