Why should we care about astrocytes in a motor neuron disease?

Affiliates Katarina Stoklund Dittlau [1][2] and Ludo Van Den Bosch [1][2]


[1] KU Leuven—University of Leuven, Department of Neurosciences, Experimental Neurology, and Leuven Brain Institute, Leuven, Belgium
[2] VIB Center for Brain and Disease Research, Laboratory of Neurobiology, Leuven, Belgium

Journal Frontiers in Molecular Medicine
Summary This paper discusses current efforts in ALS Research dedicated to astrocyte-targeted therapy. Astrocytes are one of the most abundant glial cell types in the central nervous system, however the role these cells play in ALS pathogenesis is complex and not completely understood. It has become increasingly recognized that ALS not only affects motor neurons, but also has influence on other neuronal subtypes and astrocytes. Observations of abnormal astrocytes have been described in several ALS case reports since the 1970s, and further research into how astrocytes function in ALS disease development is recommended.
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