Our preferred research approach is best demonstrated by our metabolomics work: broad spectrum discovery and exploration. Metabolomics is the study of metabolites, the small molecules that are used and produced by our metabolism. Think sugars, bits of proteins, fats, etc. Profiles of metabolites in the blood give snapshots of the biochemical reactions occurring in the body, and have the potential to reveal signatures that can be used for the diagnosis and measurement of diseases.
We applied multiple untargeted metabolomics platforms to a core set of MURDOCK Study serum samples from non-smoking relapsing-remitting MS participants that weren’t taking MS drugs and control participants matched for age, sex, race, and body mass index (BMI). Why non-smoking? Why not taking MS drugs? Why matched for age, sex, etc.? Humans are complex and difficult to study, so we try to control as many variables as possible so we can tell what is being caused by MS and not by other factors.
We have discovered a very promising metabolic signature for MS in the serum of this core group of study participants, and now we are confirming the signature in a second group of participants.