Do Antibodies Cause MS?

For a long time, antibody was considered to be a likely cause of myelin damage in MS, but the theory fell into disrepute. More recently, there appears to be stronger evidence that an antibody to a newly recognized myelin protein (anti-MOG antibody) may be playing a role in some patients.

Additional evidence comes from analysis of brain tissue from patients in whom antibody has been deposited on myelin and an anti-body-mediated, CD8+ lymphocyte type of pathology is present. It is not known whether this antibody is truly anti-MOG, but as described previously here, anti-MOG antibody was recently detected in the blood of patients at the very outset of their illness.

Other studies have shown that a high proportion of patients with progressive illness also have this antibody in their blood. However, this does not necessarily mean that the antibody is causing the myelin damage.