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Thread: Targeted Cell Delivery To The Cervical Spinal Cord Is A Promising Strategy To Slow Lo

  1. #1

    Targeted Cell Delivery To The Cervical Spinal Cord Is A Promising Strategy To Slow Lo

    Targeted Cell Delivery To The Cervical Spinal Cord Is A Promising Strategy To Slow Loss Of Motor Neurons In ALS

    Article Date: 21 Oct 2008 - 1:00 PDT

    In a disease like ALS - one that's always fatal and that has a long history of research-resistant biology - finding a proof of principle in animal models is significant.

    This week, Johns Hopkins researchers report that transplanting a new line of stem cell-like cells into rat models of the disease clearly shifts key signs of neurodegenerative disease in general and ALS in particular - slowing the animals' neuron loss and extending life.

    The new work supports the hypothesis that artificially outnumbering unhealthy cells with healthy ones in targeted parts of the spinal cord preserves limb strength and breathing and can increase survival.

    An account of the work appears online this week in Nature Neuroscience.

    Two parts of the study hold special interest: One is that the target area for the added cells - parts of the cervical spinal cord that control the diaphragm muscles largely responsible for breathing - reap the most benefit. Forty-seven percent more motor neurons survived there than in untreated model animals. Respiratory failure from diaphragm weakness is the usual cause of death in ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease.

    more...

    http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/126100.php

  2. #2
    this will help us also.



    Gene find sheds light on motor neuron diseases like ALS
    Published: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 - 11:29 in Biology & Nature


    Scientists have identified a gene in mice that plays a central role in the proper development of one of the nerve cells that goes bad in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease, and some other diseases that affect our motor neurons. The study is the result of a collaboration by scientists at the University of Rochester Medical Center who normally focus on the eye, working together with a developmental neuroscientist at Harvard who focuses on the cerebral cortex. The work appears in the Oct. 23 issue of the journal Neuron.

    The work centers on corticospinal neurons, crucial nerve cells that connect the brain to the spinal cord. These neurons degenerate in patients with ALS, and their injury can play a central role in spinal cord injury as well. These are the longest nerves in the central nervous system – nerves sometimes several feet long that run from the brain to the spinal cord. As the ends of the nerves degenerate, patients lose the ability to control their muscles.

    The team led by Lin Gan, Ph.D., of Rochester and Jeffrey D. Macklis, M.D., D.HST, of Harvard showed that a protein known as Bhlhb5 is central to how the brain's progenitor cells ultimately become corticospinal motor neurons, one type of neuron that deteriorates in ALS. The same group of neurons also degenerates in patients with a rare neurological disease known as hereditary spastic paraplegia.

    more...

    http://esciencenews.com/articles/200...n.diseases.als

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