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Diseased brain cells more involved in ALS-associated motor neuron death

ALS, then blocking the toxic factor released by astrocytes as early as possible could become an effective neuroprotective strategy against this disease," Dr. Przedborski added. "Currently, we diagnose ALS at a point when a large number of motor neurons are already gone. As we learn more about astrocytes and the toxic factor or factors they release, we may be able to screen people for elevated levels of these proteins and intervene in a tangible way perhaps even before a person displays any clinical sign of ALS."

Dr. Przedborski's vision is to eventually test for the "biomarkers" of astrocytes and toxic factors in human ALS patients and then neutralize these factors early in the process thereby stalling or eliminating the degeneration of motor neurons and the onset of debilitating ALS symptoms.


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Contact: Elizabeth Streich
eas2125@columbia.edu
212-305-6535
Columbia University Medical Center
15-Apr-2007


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