Spinal cord inflammation in children can cause many different health complications, such as paralysis from motor and sensory loss, and loss of bladder and bowel control. One cause of spinal inflammation relates to the antibody MOG (myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein). Recent studies by the Kids Neuroscience Centre have highlighted the clinical significance of these antibodies in several diseases. The Brain Autoimmunity group, led by A/Prof Fabienne Brilot-Turville, has developed a test that identifies treatment for these conditions.
These findings recently helped a three-year-old child, James, get back on his feet after losing his ability to walk. His mother noticed a decline in James’ walking, and within 10 days, he was completely unable to walk independently.
The Kids Neuroscience Centre ran tests and MRI scans on James, finding the cause to be associated with an autoimmune process attacking his spinal cord. This process was related to MOG antibodies, thereby outlining the danger of rapid inflammation of the spinal cord.
Failure to identify this cause would likely have resulted in permanent disability for James – paralysis in this case. However, with the help of Prof Russell Dale, Dr Shekeeb Mohammad, Dr Esther Tantsis and Dr Darshi Ramanathan, the problem was identified and treated fast. Positive results were immediately observed, and James was walking again within three days of treatment. Watch the full video of James’s journey.
MOG antibodies as an indicator (biomarker) or cause of disease is only a recently discovered and tested phenomenon. Kids Neuroscience Centre will continue their research to establish therapeutic implications, and further understand the role of MOG antibody as a biomarker.