Skip to main content
Premium Trial:

Request an Annual Quote

Throughout the Neurons

Researchers have developed a way to deliver a gene therapy to the spinal cords of a mouse model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, New Scientist reports.

It notes that while previous studies have indicated that gene therapy could be a viable treatment for ALS — SOD1 gene mutations cause disease in a portion of inherited cases — delivering such a therapy to affected nerves cells is tricky, New Scientist adds, noting that neither the familial nor the sporadic form of the disease has an effective treatment.

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego, and their colleagues, though, presented work at the Society for Neuroscience meeting in which they inserted a SOD1-silencing treatment into a virus that they then injected into a mouse model of ALS, hitting beneath the membranes that protect the spinal cord, New Scientist says. That way, the researchers tell it, they could affect all the neurons there.

New Scientist adds that the treated mice had delayed symptom onset as compared to untreated mice and, when treated mice did develop symptoms, they weren't as bad.