Scientists at Northwestern University identify the first compound that removes the ongoing degeneration of upper motor neurons that is a defining feature of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). ALS is a deadly neurological disorder that paralyzes its victims.
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"Even though the upper motor neurons are responsible for the initiation and modulation of movement, and their degeneration is an early event in ALS, so far there has been no treatment option to improve their health," said senior author Hande Ozdinler, associate professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "We have identified the first compound that improves the health of upper motor neurons that become diseased."
The study was also published in Clinical and Translational Medicine.
The identified compound is NU-9, it was developed the lab for its ability to reduce protein misfolding in critical cells. It is non-toxic and can cross the blood brain barrier.
"Improving the health of brain neurons is important for ALS and other motor neuron diseases," Ozdinler said.
Source: Science Daily