nflammation in the spinal cord in those with Lou Gehrig's disease could be playing a vital role in the disease.
Scientists from the University of California Los Angeles Health Sciences found that immune cells in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) damage the neurons in the spinal cord.
The team identified that the inflammation can trigger macrophages, clean up cells, which then ingest healthy neurons as well as targeting damaged ones.
However, a lipid mediator called resolvin D1 was found to be able to turn off the response that makes macrophages so dangerous, preventing the destruction of healthy neurons.
The study shows potential for those with ALS, however the team warned that there is currently no effective way of administering resolvin to patients.
This means that clinical research into the benefits of this treatment is still likely to be several years away.
Resolvin D1 is made up in the body from the omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which has been found to be beneficial in conditions such as stroke and Alzheimer's.
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