ENCALS 2013: TDP-43 Responsible for Spreading ALS?

ALS-linked genes including TDP-43, C9ORF72, SOD1, and FUS were highlighted at the 11th Annual meeting of The European Network for a Cure of ALS (ENCALS) held May 31, 2013 through June 2, 2013 in Sheffield, England. One of these genes, TDP-43, was of particular interest. Dr. Johannes Brettschneider of the University of Ulm in Germany presenting data suggesting that the pathological protein aggregates of TDP-43 spread within motor neurons by travelling along axons. However, the damage caused by TDP43 doesn’t stop there; these aggregates can also travel between motor neurons, perhaps causing the pathological spreading of the disease throughout the body. This is not the first time that people have suggested that ALS-linked proteins can “spread” from one neuron to another. Dr. Neil Cashman, a professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada, presented some compelling data at the 23rd International Symposium on ALS/MND to suggest that misfolded SOD1can in fact propagate the disease from cell-to-cell via a “template protein misfolding” mechanism.

Read about the ENCALS meeting here and more about misfolded SOD1 spreading here.

conf-European Network to Cure ALS (ENCALS) Meeting disease-als tdp-43 topic-preclinical
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