Halting neurodegeneration in ALS
REGULATORY T CELLS
Inflammation in the brain, known as neuroinflammation, contributes to our health by removing debris and pathogens. However, in ALS too much neuroinflammation can harm brain cells, including motor neurons which allow the brain to communicate with muscles. The systematic administration of moderate anti-inflammatory drugs has met with little success in reducing various types of neurodegeneration, leading to a hunt for potent and selective inhibitors of the brains immune system.
Regulatory T cells are white blood cells which release anti-inflammatory cytokines and act as a ‘brake’ for the immune system. These cells recognise our own tissues and prevent them from being attacked by the rest of the immune system. When regulatory T cells fail to do this job the result is a variety of auto-immune diseases. The targeted and potent suppression of the immune system by regulatory T cells will be harnessed by Reflection Therapeutics to protect motor neurons from attack in ALS.