Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a motor neuron disease of animals and man with life-altering consequences. The defining pathology is destruction of neurons resulting in loss of neuromuscular connections. Genetic predisposition is a factor in a small number of cases, 10%. The most commonly recognized presentation is idiopathic spontaneous disease (SALS). ALS most likely has many manifestations and one pathology would not exclude others. Treating disease requires identifying the disease process and the stage of disease. It is likely going to require multiple-therapies in a targeted approach.
Our hypothesis is that SALS initiates innate immune mechanisms that become dysfunctional at the cellular level. We suggest that a bystander mechanism could initiate innate immune responses that become unregulated and the dysfunctional systems may vary with the site of the pathology.
Our work on parasitic diseases and the effect parasites have on innate immunity may give us a foundation to understand the pathophysiology of some ALS presentations. We are extending our mission, to develop patent protected technologies for the diagnosis and treatment of parasitic diseases, to include a goal of developing technologies that may facilitate research in ALS. Our intent is that ALS technologies are open sourced.
Eleven projects are underway with studies looking at regulation of T cells, drug synergy, drug reactions, examining in vitro responses by stimulating mononuclear cells, and three aspects of adipose tissue in ALS that is the composition, cell signaling and markers of stressed tissues. We hope these areas of interest will identify an individual disease pathogenesis, facilitate modeling to test treatments for specific immune pathways, and develop bioassays that could potentially assist in determining a response to treatment.
We found out critical elements of living with ALS are good nutrition and a good physical therapy program. The Paleo diet is anti-inflammatory and worth a look. These are the books we like:
There are web sites with a wealth of information. We direct you to these sites if you want to learn about ALS. Here are a couple of our favorites: