Predicting MS Disability With IL-1 Receptor Antagonist Levels: Stephanie Blandford, MSc


The PhD candidate at the neuroimmunology laboratory at Memorial University of Newfoundland discussed her team’s investigations into the use of IL-1RA as a biomarker for MS disability.

“If we can predict when an individual might experience a relapse or an increase in disability level based on a blood test, then they can make arrangements, they can be prepared, and just have a greater sense of autonomy over their disease.”

Data from a recent study presented at the Americas Committee for Treatment and Research in Multiple Sclerosis (ACTRIMS) Forum 2021, February 25-27, 2021, suggest that the interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA) biomarker can predict disability in people with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Stephanie Blandford, MSc, PhD candidate, Neuroimmunology Laboratory, Health Sciences Centre, Memorial University of Newfoundland, and colleagues presented the data which suggest that IL-1RA levels in plasma correlated with Expanded Disability Status Scale score independent of other variables such as age, sex, disease-modifying therapy, or previous relapse activity. They also found cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) IL-1RA to be significantly correlated with neurofilament light (NfL).

NeurologyLive spoke with Blandford to learn more about the advantages of using IL-1RA as a biomarker over NfL for patients with MS. She also discussed further studies she would like to see conducted with the biomarker.

For more coverage of ACTRIMS Forum 2021, click here.

Blandford SN, Galloway D, Williams JB, et al. Il-1 receptor antagonist: A novel soluble biomarker that correlates with disabilty and neurofilament light in multiple sclerosis. Presented at ACTRIMS Annual Forum; February 25-27, 2021. Abstract P019.
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