Four different biomarkers uncovered that characterize the non-genetic form of the disease
Although several genetic ALS mutations have been identified, they only apply to a small number of cases. The ongoing challenge is to identify the mechanisms behind the non-genetic form of the disease and draw useful comparisons with the genetic forms.
Now, using samples of stem cells derived from the bone marrow of non-genetic ALS patients, Prof. Miguel Weil of Tel Aviv University's Laboratory for Neurodegenerative Diseases and Personalized Medicine in the Department of Cell Research and Immunology and his team of researchers have uncovered four different biomarkers that characterize the non-genetic form of the disease.
Each sample shows similar biological abnormalities to four specific genes, and further research could reveal additional commonalities. "Because these genes and their functions are already known, they give us a specific direction for research into non-genetic ALS diagnostics and therapeutics," Prof. Weil says. His initial findings were reported in the journal Disease Markers.