Vartanian Lab

 

Led by Dr. Tim Vartanian of Weill Cornell Medical School, our lab focuses on discovering what causes Multiple Sclerosis and how to best treat it.

We work with patients, leading researchers, students, and donors to:

  1. To better understand what environmental factors trigger the onset of Multiple Sclerosis in genetically susceptible individuals.
  2. To understand the factors and biology leading to new lesion formation in MS.
  3. To prevent injury to and promote regeneration of myelin in people with MS.

OUR RESEARCH

MYELIN REGENERATION

Early in MS, demyelination is followed by partial or complete remyelination of lesions.  Later in the course of the disease, demyelination occurs without significant remyelination.  Failure of remyelination destabilizes axons and results in secondary and irreversible neurodegeneration.

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THE BIOLOGY OF NEWLY FORMING LESIONS

In searching for the cause of Multiple Sclerosis, we believe a critical clue comes from the microscopic description of MS lesions at their earliest stage of formation.  Analagous to a crime scene, consider how vital it is to examine evidence as close as possible to the time of the crime.

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THE BLOOD/BRAIN BARRIER

We think that the Blood/Brain Barrier (BBB) never fully repairs itself in MS unless the brain tissue within the lesion has returned to normal.  Instead, we think there is a chronic (long-term) opening of the BBB that is not as severe as when contrast-enhancing lesions can be observed on MRI yet open enough that molecules from the blood seep into the lesions.

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POPULATION AND CLUSTER MAPPING

Clusters refer to an unusually high concentration of an illness amongst people within a discrete geography and/or for a discrete period of time.  We reason that Multiple Sclerosis (MS) clusters provide one of the major clues to understanding the cause of MS.

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SUPPORT THE LAB

Our lab is able to continue its research due to generous contributions from people like you. To see how you can help, click here.

ABOUT THE LAB

 

Our lab is located at Weill Cornell Medical School in NYC. Learn about our:

Current Team
Former Lab Members
Our Collaborators

GET INVOLVED

 

There are a number of ways to get involved:

Volunteer in the Lab
Post-Doctoral Fellowships
Participate in a Study

WHAT IS MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS?

 

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is one of the most common chronic neurological diseases. It affects both sexes and all ages, but is most likely to develop between the ages of 20 and 40. Women are twice as likely to contract the disease.

MS is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system, classified as a demyelinating disorder – myelin (the protective covering of nerve fibers) and myelin-forming cells are destroyed.

DO YOU HAVE MS? GET IN TOUCH.