Facilitating recruitment of immune-resolving cells for the treatment of neurodegeneration.
Neurodegenerative disorders progressively destroy the mental capacity and motor control of afflicted patients. Despite intense worldwide efforts, no disease-modifying therapies for such disorders exist and available symptomatic treatments are not highly efficacious, emphasizing the urgent need for novel therapeutic modalities. The current technology offers means to treat neurodegenerative disorders by facilitating the recruitment of beneficial immune cells to degenerated neurons, thereby leading to significantly reduced disease progression and extended life span.
- Therapy for neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer?s disease.
The method harnesses an intrinsic mechanism to improve the outcome of neurodegenerative disease patients.
Most acute and chronic neurodegenerative diseases include a local neuroinflammatory component, which systemic anti-inflammatory treatments fail to arrest. Furthermore, in several neurodegenerative conditions, depletion of circulating immune cells exacerbates the disease process. However, no method currently exists that can actively recruit such cells to the affected central nervous system (CNS). A team of researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science has elucidated a novel mechanism for facilitating the trafficking of inflammation-resolving leukocytes to the diseased CNS tissues. By harnessing this mechanism the scientists were able to develop and optimize a method that ensures long-lasting and selective recruitment of the inflammation-resolving cells to the CNS. Application of this method to neurodegenerative animal models resulted in significantly reduced disease progression and increased survival. This platform is expected to facilitate the identification of novel therapies for resolving neuro-inflammatory process in neurodegenerative diseases, which are based on hitherto unexplored mechanism-driven targets.