Large number of immune cells in blood linked to MS

Published 22 June 2022

Having a large number of immune cells in the bloodstream may increase a person’s likelihood of getting multiple sclerosis, a new study has found.

One type of immune cell in particular, natural killer (NK) cells, was found to be linked to a 24% increased chance of getting MS. Lymphocytes, which include B-cells, T-cells and others known to cause MS damage, increased the chance by 17%.

The study was based on genetic data of people who had European ancestry from the International Blood Cell Consortium and the International Multiple Sclerosis Genetics Consortium.

Understanding the role NK cells play in MS may raise new possibilities for potential therapies, the researchers said.

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