The TBK1 gene regulates the disease progression of ALS in mouse models of the neurodegenerative disease. Loss of the TBK1 gene in motor neurons increases SOD1 aggregation and accelerates the onset of the disease.
Researchers have identified a set of drug-like compounds, including a common ingredient in throat lozenges, that can help protect mitochondria from the stresses associated with neurodegenerative diseases.
A new study challenges existing theories about spinal cord neurons. New findings suggest neurological signals originate from a major, scattered network of cells that send signals to only a few other neurons.
Exposure to the environmental toxin BMAA may elevate the risk of ALS. BMAA is produced by cyanobacteria, a blue-green alga that commonly occurs in marine ecosystems and accumulates in shellfish, sharks, and other sea-life. Those most reliant on sea-foods for their food source may be most at risk.
Researchers have isolated a molecule that may be under-produced in the gut of those with ALS. Using mouse models of the disease, researchers identified 11 microbial strains that became altered as the disease progressed, or before the development of symptoms.
Open sharing of scientific data and standard methods will allow researchers to collaborate on projects and accelerate understanding of neurodegenerative diseases.
Treatment with copper-ATSM helped mouse models retain behavioral performance and prevented extensive motor neuron degeneration and microglial activation associated with ALS.