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MDS 2022 | The significance of glial cells in the pathophysiology of ALS

Although the etiological factors are different, the cellular biology of neurogenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are similar. Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD, Columbia University Irving Medical Center, New York, NY, describes the role of non-neuronal cells in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative disorders, particularly in ALS. Various research groups have focused on understanding how non-neuronal cells contribute to the demise of neighboring motor neurons. In ALS, the astrocytes become compromised in metabolism and functionality, leading to loss of function. This causes the astrocytes to embark into other molecular pathways to stabilize the loss of function, destroying the adjacent neurons and leading to neurodegeneration. Thus, targeting both the neuronal and non-neuronal cells is essential while developing treatment options for ALS. This interview took place at the 2022 International Congress of Parkinson’s disease and Movement Disorders in Madrid, Spain.

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