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New research helps fight against motor neurone disease
Date:9/27/2013

ded, between the profiles of the rapid progressing and slow progressing models. In the case of the model with rapidly progressing MND the motor neurones showed reduced functioning of the cellular systems for energy production, disposal of waste proteins and neuroprotection. Motor neurones from the model with more slowly progressing MND showed an increase in protective inflammation and immune responses and increased function of the mechanisms that protect motor neurones from damage.

The research provides valuable clues about mechanisms that have the effect of slowing down the progression of disabling symptoms in MND.

Professor Shaw said that the state-of-the-art Functional Genomics laboratory in SITraN had enabled the research team to use a cutting edge technique called gene expression profiling.

"This enables us to 'get inside' the motor neurones in health and disease and understand better what is happening to cause motor neurone injury in MND," she said.

"This project was a wonderful collaboration, supported by the MND Association, between research teams in Sheffield and Milan. We are very excited about the results which have given us some new ideas for treatment strategies which may help to slow disease progression in human MND."

Dr Caterina Bendotti said: "MND is a clinically heterogeneous disease with a high variability in its course which makes assessments of potential therapies difficult. Thanks to the recent evidence in our laboratory of a difference in the speed of symptom progression in two MND models carrying the same gene mutation and the successful collaboration with Professor Pamela Shaw and her team, we have identified some mechanisms that may help to predict the disease duration and eventually to slow it down.

"I strongly believe that the new hypotheses generated by this study and our ongoing collaboration are the prerequisites to be able to fight this disease."

Brian Dickie from MND Associati
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Contact: Clare Parkin
clare.parkin@sheffield.ac.uk
01-142-229-851
University of Sheffield
Source:Eurekalert

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