‘NMO Biomarkers and You’ is part one in a new series titled ‘Do You Know NMO’. Test your knowledge with the interactive quiz at the end of this article.
Today, more than 7 billion people call planet Earth home. Yet, each one of us interacts with the world in a different way. Over time, we gather experiences that form unique signatures of our lives… ups & downs… setbacks & successes. Each one of us is an individual signal of how we adapt to the world — and how we change the world.
In a similar way, each of us contains billions of cells & molecules… and every one has a purpose. When studied over time, their patterns can help us to understand health and disease. When cells or molecules are proven by research to explain a healthy state, disease cause, or treatment response, they are called biomarkersA molecule or cell found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues that is a sign of a normal or abnormal process, a condition or disease. A biomarker may be used to see how well the body responds to a treatment for a disease or condition.. For example, in NMO/SD, the anti-AQP4 antibody is a biomarker which signals that the immune system has reacted to AQP4.
With help from the GJCF, researchers are exploring cells and molecules that offer new insights into NMO/SD causes and cures. From the T cells that govern the immune response, to B cells that make antibodies, to other cells and molecular causes of inflammation — finding the biomarkers of NMO/SD and how they can be used to prevent, diagnose and treat disease are keys to the cure.
GJCF drives laboratory & clinical research to find new biomarkers in NMO/SD. Projects focused on predicting relapses, identifying cells or molecules that wax or wane in response to effective therapies, and defining causes and genetic risks of NMO/SD are priorities. In turn, applying such biomarkers to NMO/SD patient care holds promise to predict & stop relapses before they occur, target therapies to the cells or molecules that cause disease, and prevent NMO/SD from beginning at all.
Each of us can play a unique part in NMO/SD biomarker research. Through the GJCF CIRCLESCIRCLES is a long-term (longitudinal) clinical research study of individuals diagnosed with NMO/SD and related conditions. Its purpose is to accelerate research to find better treatments and catalyze cures for NMO/SD patients. To achieve this goal, the study collects biospecimens (blood, serum, DNA, etc.) and clinical data from individuals diagnosed with NMO/SD, other autoimmune diseases, as well as healthy persons. project, simply donating a sample of blood and medical data every six months can speed understanding — and solving NMO/SD together.
What part do you play in the NMO Story ?