Tolerization is an immunological process that re-educates the immune system. In NMOSD, tolerance to the aquaporin-4 water channel is lost and the patient's immune system attacks aquaporin-4 as if it were a foreign protein. Tolerance therapy re-introduces aquaporin-4 to the immune system as a self protein.
We use a mouse model of NMOSD in order to test different tolerization therapy approaches. This research is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health.
NMOSD is a disease that attacks the optic nerves and spinal cord but the immune cells that coordinate the attack live in the bloodstream.
We are looking for these immune cells and trying to understand how and why they attack.
We participate in two human trials for NMOSD: