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Flying towards an understanding of TDP-43

Reading Time: 2 minutes If you looked at the motor neurones of people with MND down the microscope you would see clumps of a protein called TDP-43. Researchers around the world are working to find why these clumps form and how they are linked to MND. Dr Jemeen Sreedharan has been looking at the effects of TDP-43 in fruit…

Preventing TDP-43 deposits in motor neurones

Reading Time: 2 minutes Deposits of the protein TDP-43 are found within the motor neurones in the majority of cases of MND, and are considered a pathological hallmark of the disease. While we do not fully understand how these deposits are formed, previous research has shown that activation of a process called the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) can cause…

Hunting for clues about the genetic causes of FTD and MND

Reading Time: 3 minutes Yesterday we published an introductory blog on frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and described how it is sometimes found in combination with MND. Today we are looking at a biomedical project on FTD and MND that we are funding. The project Dr Olaf Ansorge and Professor Kevin Talbot of Oxford University are leading a biomedical project aimed…

Do retroviruses contribute to the common, sporadic form of MND?

Reading Time: 2 minutes New research from scientists at the American National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke in Bethesda suggest that they might. In a research paper published in Science Translational Medicine yesterday, Li, Nath and colleagues proposed that sporadic MND may be linked to an endogenous retrovirus called ‘HERV-K’. So they conducted a series of experiments to…

Another piece in the MND Jigsaw..

Reading Time: < 1 minute Research published yesterday on 3 June 2014 in the prestigious journal Nature Communications, highlights key insights into how the protein TDP-43 may cause motor neurones to die in MND. Association-funded researcher Prof Chris Miller based at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London, was involved in the research. In the majority of cases of MND the protein…

TDP-43: A protein that lingers on..

Reading Time: 2 minutes MND Association-funded researchers from the University of Liverpool have published results in the prestigious open access journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Under the leadership of Prof Samar Hasnain, the researchers identified that some TDP-43 mutant proteins hang around in the cell longer and become more stable, possibly leading to neurodegeneration in MND. Although…

Unravelling TDP43 toxicity

Reading Time: 4 minutes Background to TDP43 A characteristic sign of motor neurones affected by motor neurone disease is the clumps of protein visible down a microscope. Although these proteins have been observed in motor neurones from people affected by MND since the earliest descriptions in the 1870s, a key discovery was made when the identity of a protein,…