December 13, 2017

U of A Researchers Aid Fight Against ALS

Team outlines neural roadblock that stops muscle function.

via Pixabay

University of Arizona researchers think they’ve unlocked a mystery that answers a key question about ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease.

People who suffer from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as ALS, experience muscle paralysis. When the breathing muscles don’t work, the respiratory system won’t respond. Nearly half of those with ALS die within three years.

U of A biology professor Daniela Zarnescu has been investigating two proteins that are supposed to work together to connect muscles with the nervous system.

“Because of these proteins’ role in the correct communication between neuron and muscle, this process is altered," she said. "And in time, you end up with a failure of communication between neurons and muscles that leads to muscle paralysis, which is what patients of ALS are experiencing.”

Researchers say genetic mutations are the likely cause of the dysfunction between the two proteins. Their study was recently published in the journal Cell Reports.

By posting comments, you agree to our
AZPM encourages comments, but comments that contain profanity, unrelated information, threats, libel, defamatory statements, obscenities, pornography or that violate the law are not allowed. Comments that promote commercial products or services are not allowed. Comments in violation of this policy will be removed. Continued posting of comments that violate this policy will result in the commenter being banned from the site.

By submitting your comments, you hereby give AZPM the right to post your comments and potentially use them in any other form of media operated by this institution.
AZPM is a service of the University of Arizona and our broadcast stations are licensed to the Arizona Board of Regents who hold the trademarks for Arizona Public Media and AZPM. We respectfully acknowledge the University of Arizona is on the land and territories of Indigenous peoples.
The University of Arizona