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MND research to lead to new therapies?

MND research to lead to new therapies?
27th April 2011

A research breakthrough could lead to the development of drugs to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - a form of motor neurone disease.

Research published in PLoS Biology revealed that defects in RNA biology could be key in how FUS biology contributes to ALS, after researchers studied yeast.

In ALS, proteins clump to form insoluble clumps. In some cases this protein is FUS, while in others it has been seen to be TDP-43.

Co-senior author Aaron Gitler remarked: "It's truly amazing what we can learn from yeast."

The studies could lead to new treatments for ALS, centring on RNA processing. Additionally, the scientists learned that TDP-43 and FUS do not necessarily perform the same function in ALS.

ALS is the most common form of motor neuron disease, accounting for 60-70 per cent of all cases.

Other types are progressive bulbar palsy, which is seen in 20 per cent of incidences, and progressive muscular atrophy, making up ten per cent.

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