Highlighting the Immune System in ALS

ALS is a complex and heterogeneous disease that involves a number of different cellular players, including but not limited to motor neurons, oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, inflammatory monocytes, and microglia (just to name a few!). A new study recently published online in Cell Reports highlights the importance of one of these players: microglia. Dr. Isaac Chiu from Harvard Medical School, along with Prize4Life Scientific Advisory Board member Dr. Tom Maniatis from Columbia University, investigated the role of microglia in ALS. They found that microglia co-express both neurotoxic and neuroprotective factors in SOD1 G93A mice. Although more research is needed to understand the relationship between the expression of these neurotoxic and neuroprotective factors, these findings suggests that therapeutically targeting the immune response in ALS could be more complicated than originally thought. Click here to read the full story.

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