Contribution of Metabolomics to Multiple Sclerosis Diagnosis, Prognosis and Treatment

Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Oct 15;22(20):11112. doi: 10.3390/ijms222011112.


Metabolomics-based technologies map in vivo biochemical changes that may be used as early indicators of pathological abnormalities prior to the development of clinical symptoms in neurological conditions. Metabolomics may also reveal biochemical pathways implicated in tissue dysfunction and damage and thus assist in the development of novel targeted therapeutics for neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration. Metabolomics holds promise as a non-invasive, high-throughput and cost-effective tool for early diagnosis, follow-up and monitoring of treatment response in multiple sclerosis (MS), in combination with clinical and imaging measures. In this review, we offer evidence in support of the potential of metabolomics as a biomarker and drug discovery tool in MS. We also use pathway analysis of metabolites that are described as potential biomarkers in the literature of MS biofluids to identify the most promising molecules and upstream regulators, and show novel, still unexplored metabolic pathways, whose investigation may open novel avenues of research.

Keywords: MRI; biofluids; biomarkers; disease modifying treatment; metabolomics; multiple sclerosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Metabolome / physiology
  • Metabolomics* / methods
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnosis*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism
  • Multiple Sclerosis / therapy*
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers