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CONy 2020 | The role of kynurenines in the pathogenesis of MS

Laszlo Vecsei, MD, PhD, DSc, University of Szeged, Szeged, Hungary, discusses the kynurenine pathway in multiple sclerosis (MS). The kynurenine pathway is responsible for the majority of peripheric tryptophan metabolism. Additionally, different neuroactive metabolites of the KP are known to exert opposite effects on neurons, some being neuroprotective such as kynurenic acid, while others are excitotoxic like quinolinic acid. This is particularly interesting in MS as neuroinflammation and degeneration are present, and the kynurenine pathway is deeply involved in the regulation of the neuroinflammatory processes. Therefore, kynurenic acid and quinolinic acid can be measured in the blood as a biomarker for MS to predict how the disease will evolve. However, currently there is not enough data for molecular biomarkers to be used to influence treatment decisions. This interview took place during the Virtual World Congress on Controversies in Neurology (CONy) 2020.