A common problem can cause a debilitating and painful chronic numbness in the right wrist more commonly known as Middle Synovitis (MS). Newly published research from a team of researchers from the University of Oxford (UK) University Hospital of Basel (Switzerland) Harvard Medical School (USA) and University College London (USA) indicates that two signaling molecules are involved in the development of numbness in the right wrist.
The research which was conducted by an international team of researchers is published in the Journal of Neuroscience Translationals.
MS is a common degenerative disease of the nervous system that affects about one in every 100000 people aged 45 years and older. It can cause severe weakness in the hands and feet particularly in people with weakened immune systems and can be fatal. It is also known that MS can affect other large muscles in the arm shoulders and hands. However vaccines may not protect against MS just because they may not be negative for the virus that causes the disease.
Permanent nerve and muscle lesions found in the right wrist.
The researchers highlighted a rare example where a normal MS patient found a worsening of symptoms shortly after sharing needles at a healthcare professionals surgery. The patient was subsequently diagnosed with transient erythematositis (inflammation of the skin over the skin). Drug therapies taken by mouth to either suppress the symptoms or to dampen the swelling were not successful. The team also studied three MS patients whose peripheral nerve inflammation took longer to appear after treatment than in MS patients. The researchers observed an additional interaction between the central nervous system and bone marrow-specific lymphocytes-which are normally immune cells-inducers of pain.
This new study led by Professor Christoph Weber from the Department of Clinical Neuroscience Clinical Experimental and Physiological Psychology at Oxford is most significant because it shows that there is a potential link between spinal cord injury and MS. The present study offers the first demonstration of a probable connection.
Dr. Magdalena Di Tronieri from University Hospital of Basel just welcomed the study: Up until now all we could do was to speculate about molecular mechanisms that are involved in the development of MS and numbness in the right wrist. Our examination of the so-called fusobacteriological experiments confirmed our suspicions: the symptoms appeared before peripheral neuropathy was seen in MS patients.
The effect of the current study is particularly interesting because it confirms the theory that the left side of the spinal cord becomes inflamed after the day after a spinal cord injury and as a result releases cytokines. One of the most widely used cytokines is interleukin-type-8 (IL-8). Activation of the immune system by IL-8 at a microglia-mepithelial cell level resulted in the appearance and powerful pain sensation of the right wrist. Deep dorsal root ganglia neurons control these sensations.
New possibilities for therapy.
Professor Weber has also examined whether the new findings could have implications for SJS using an in-vivo model of MS. We are trying to strengthen the findings of this study by performing receptor-based autoimmune tests. It is already known that autoimmune processes happen also in the bone marrow of patients with MS. We also know that we can reactivate the injured skin. Thus our results open up the new possibilities for SJS treatment: if we find a path that can reactivate the bodys pain signals we can certainly apply it in patients explains the research group leader.
Only high-speed MRI is needed to image the affected region and in this case the current rings located in the umbilical nerves are under the skin. In future these small rings may be isolated from the proximal area and implanted into the affected area to be studied. This will provide us with a much clearer view of the most affected region of the hand and with an opportunity to evaluate its affected healing process.