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Therapeutic potential of drug interventions on microglia in ALS

Dr. Susanne Petri, Hannover Medical School, Department of Neurology, in Hannover, Germany presented progress on her project “Therapeutic potential of drug interventions on microglia in ALS” to the NDR scientific group. She is investigating two compounds, Naringenin (a citrus flavonoid) and Parthenolide (from the Feverfew plant), two compounds that have shown positive effects in Alzheimer’s disease/ Parkinson’s disease and stroke/neuropathy, respectively. She uses primary cultures, the SOD1 mouse model, and ALS patient-derived iPSC’s to determine the effects of treatment. She has reported some of her results and are under review in the Journal of Neuroscience Research (2023 Thau-Habermann et al). Overall, the treatments are not cytotoxic and have a positive impact on microglial markers with a beneficial impact on motor neuron survival. Her work using these compounds in the SOD1 mouse model are ongoing, but preliminary results are promising. The results of her experiments bring hope to ALS patients by providing data supporting non-toxic and readily available treatments that are neuroprotective and could rescue dysregulated microglial and astrocytes, cells that are involved in the pathogenesis of ALS.

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