In a new study, researchers have revealed a new hallmark of ALS, providing insights into a potential trigger of neurodegeneration.
ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a debilitating neurological disease that leads to the progressive loss of motor neurons and eventual paralysis. There is currently no cure for ALS and the underlying cause of the disease is still largely unknown.
In the new study, published in the journal Science, the researchers found that in patients with ALS, there is a build-up of a toxic protein called TDP-43 in the motor neurons. This build-up appears to be triggered by another protein called C9orf72, which is mutated in around 40% of ALS patients.
The findings suggest that the C9orf72 mutation may be a key driver of ALS and that targeting this protein could potentially lead to new treatments for the disease.
Currently, there are no effective treatments for ALS and the prognosis for patients is bleak. However, the new findings offer hope that a better understanding of the disease could lead to the development of new and effective therapies.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disease that often leads to paralysis and death. Although the cause of ALS is unknown, researchers have now identified a new hallmark of the disease that could shed light on its trigger.
In a new study, published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, an international team of scientists led by Dr. Stefano Triberti from the University of Bologna revealed that patients with ALS have abnormally high levels of a protein called p62 in their motor neurons.
P62 is a key regulator of autophagy, a process by which cells break down and recycle old or damaged proteins. However, p62 can also build up in cells and trigger neurodegeneration.
“Our findings suggest that p62 may play a key role in the development of ALS,” said Dr. Triberti. “Importantly, we also found that drugs that target p62 could potentially be used to treat the disease.”
ALS is a devastating disease with no cure. However, the identification of this new hallmark provides hope that we may one day be able to develop effective treatments for this debilitating condition.