AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 29, Number 2, 2020


Gene therapy blocks peripheral nerve damage in mice

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Lays groundwork for developing treatments for peripheral neuropathy, other nerve diseases

Nerve axons serve as the wiring of the nervous system, sending electrical signals that control movement and sense of touch. When axons are damaged, whether by injury or as a side effect of certain drugs, a program is triggered that leads axons to self-destruct. This destruction likely plays an important role in multiple neurodegenerative conditions, including peripheral neuropathy, Parkinson’s disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Now, scientists have developed a gene therapy that blocks this process, preventing axon destruction in mice and suggesting a therapeutic strategy that could help prevent the loss of peripheral nerves in multiple conditions.

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