A microbial break-through for motor neurone disease

A recent report in Nature has suggested that a friendly gut bacterium can help lessen ALS symptoms.[1]

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neurone disease, is a rare condition that progressively damages parts of the nervous system. It occurs when nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord stop working properly – this is known as neurodegeneration.[2] Extensive research is constantly being carried out to try and develop preventative ALS-specific drugs.

The research found that mice that carry, Lou Gehrig’s disease (similar to ALS), ended up faring better when bacteria making vitamin B3 were living in their intestines.[3]

While these results are preliminary they may have significant ramifications for management of the disease in the future.

[1] https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-019-1443-5.epdf

[2] https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/brain-nerves-and-spinal-cord/motor-neurone-disease-mnd

[3] https://www.sciencenews.org/article/boosting-gut-bacterium-helps-mice-fight-als-disease

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