The Complexity of Immune Cell Interactions and Potential Treatments for MS: Jenn Orthmann-Murphy, MD, PhD


The assistant professor of neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania talked about her presentation at CMSC 2024 on the complex interactions of immune cells in multiple sclerosis. [WATCH TIME: 6 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 6 minutes

"It's really key to understand all of the mechanisms that are involved and how the cells are interacting with each other, so that we can figure out how to stop that process from happening or reverse it."

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a complex disease that involves various immune cells, with T cells being the most recognized by clinicians for diagnosis. Recent studies have also highlighted the role of the innate immune system in MS. According to a prior review published in the World Journal of Experimental Medicine, immune cells can either mitigate or worsen the disease which can make it important for understanding the genetic and environmental factors as well as the etiology and pathogenesis in MS. Thus, gaining further insight into the mechanisms of current therapies in their role with the immune system may assist for the development of new treatments in MS.

Jenn Orthmann-Murphy, MD, PhD, presented a talk on the immune system in MS during a symposium titled “Basic and Advanced Immunology for the Non-Immunologist" at the 2024 Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers (CMSC) Annual Meeting, held May 29 to June 1, in Nashville, Tennessee. In the symposium, other topics included the protection of the immune system presented by Lisa Fox, PA-C, MPAS, and understanding immune responses of brain resident cells to inform the next generation of therapies for progressive MS by Peter Calabresi, MD, FAAN, FANA.

At the meeting, Orthmann-Murphy, an assistant professor of Neurology in the Perelman School of Medicine at University of Pennsylvania, sat down in an interview with NeurologyLive® to discuss how current treatments for MS target peripheral immune cells, and their limitations in repairing lesions in the central nervous system. She also talked about the roles microglia and astrocytes play in the inflammation and remyelination processes in MS. Furthermore, Orthmann-Murphy talked about how precision medicine might evolve to target specific problematic cells in patients with MS.

Click here for more coverage of CMSC 2024.

1. Høglund RA, Maghazachi AA. Multiple sclerosis and the role of immune cells. World J Exp Med. 2014;4(3):27-37. Published 2014 Aug 20. doi:10.5493/wjem.v4.i3.27
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