Author(s): Kieran D, Kalmar B, Dick JR, RiddochContreras J, Burnstock G,
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Abstract Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative condition in which motoneurons of the spinal cord and motor cortex die, resulting in progressive paralysis. This condition has no cure and results in eventual death, usually within 1-5 years of diagnosis. Although the specific etiology of ALS is unknown, 20\% of familial cases of the disease carry mutations in the gene encoding Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1). Transgenic mice overexpressing human mutant SOD1 have a phenotype and pathology that are very similar to that seen in human ALS patients. Here we show that treatment with arimoclomol, a coinducer of heat shock proteins (HSPs), significantly delays disease progression in mice expressing a SOD1 mutant in which glycine is substituted with alanine at position 93 (SOD1(G93A)). Arimoclomol-treated SOD1(G93A) mice show marked improvement in hind limb muscle function and motoneuron survival in the later stages of the disease, resulting in a 22\% increase in lifespan. Pharmacological activation of the heat shock response may therefore be a successful therapeutic approach to treating ALS, and possibly other neurodegenerative diseases.
This article was published in Nat Med
and referenced in Journal of Alzheimers Disease & Parkinsonism