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Multiple Sclerosis and the Flu

For most people, a case of the flu causes several days of discomfort, then they recover. For those with multiple sclerosis (MS) or other neurological diseases, the flu may trigger a cascade of immune responses that can result in relapse. Researchers from the University of Illinois (U of I) shed light on what may be happening in the brains of MS patients during upper respiratory infections. According to Andrew Steelman of U of I, “We know that when MS patients get upper respiratory infections, they’re at risk for relapse, but how that happens is not completely understood. A huge question is what causes relapse, and why immune cells all of a sudden want to go to the brain. MS patients have one or two relapses a year; it’s thought that these relapses contribute to the progression of the disease."

NIFA supports this research through Hatch funding.

Learn about the promising MS research at U of I.

Want to read about more impacts like this? Check out Fresh from the Field, a weekly bulletin showcasing transformative impacts made by grantees funded by NIFA.

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