A new study sheds light on the genetic causes of a range of neurodegenerative disorders, including ALS, Parkinson's disease, and Huntington's disease, and determines factors that impact the age of onset as well as disease severity.
People with ALS have 2.5-fold higher levels of arachidonic acid, a lipid commonly found in fatty parts of meat and fish that spurs on inflammatory process, in their spinal motor cells than people without the disease. Treatment with caffeic acid, an anti-inflammatory compound naturally found in coffee, tea, and tomatoes, reduced some of the symptoms associated with ALS, and extended lifespan in animal models.
Post-mortem studies of brain tissue from ALS patients reveal an abnormal form of tau is present in novel brain areas, and the tau interacts with DRP1. The tau appears to cause the brain cell's mitochondria to fragment and increase oxidative stress. Reducing tau reversed the effect, decreasing oxidative stress and mitochondrial fragmentation.
Neurturin, a muscle-produced protein, improves muscular metabolism, motor coordination, and exercise performance in mouse models. The discovery could have implications for treating ALS and other disorders associated with neurological disorders that affect muscles.
Cryogenic-electron microscopy allowed researchers to determine the basic building blocks of prion proteins, including the placements of their amino acids.
Riluzole, a drug commonly prescribed to slow the progression of ALS, appears to slow brain metabolic decline and improve cognitive performance in those with mild Alzheimer's disease.
Cedars-Sinai has been awarded $11.99 million by California's stem cell agency to launch a clinical trial testing a potential gene and stem cell therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Researchers found an increased inflammatory signal in patients with the C90rf72 subtype of ALS. The increased inflammatory biomarkers could be found in peripheral serum tests.
Researchers have identified a causal link between strenuous exercise and ALS in people with genetic risk factors for the neurodegenerative disease. The study reports intense physical exercise contributes to motor neuron injury in those susceptible to ALS.