In 2020 COVID-19 meant that less research was done on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) because of homeworking impact on laboratory life. So there are fewer articles than usually. The article summarized here is perhaps not notable but it adds in a long line of studies demonstrating that Growth Factors are holding back the progression of ALS.
Nerve growth factor (NGF) is a protective factor of neural cells. Neurons require NGF from their target fields for survival, axonal target innervation, dendritic growth and formation, and maintenance of synaptic inputs.
The possible relationship between the NGF and the pathogenesis of ALS hasn't been completely known. In this study, the scientists observed and analyzed the expression and distribution of NGF, as well as the possible relationship between the NGF expression and distribution and the neural cell death in both wild-type and SOD1 mice model, applying the fluorescence immunohistochemistry method. Source Wikipedia/User Polarlys
The results showed that the expression and distribution of NGF in the anterior horn, the lateral horn, and the surrounding central canal significantly increased at the early stages of ALS.
But the NGF expression and distribution in the anterior horn, the lateral horn, and the surrounding central canal significantly reduced at the progression stage. The neural cell death gradually increased accompanying with the reduction of NGF expression and distribution.
As the astrocyte, neuron oligodendrocyte and the neural precursor cells produced the NGF at an early stage, this suggests that NGF is a protective factor of neural cells.
This book retraces the main achievements of ALS research over the last 30 years, presents the drugs under clinical trial, as well as ongoing research on future treatments likely to be able stop the disease in a few years and to provide a complete cure in a decade or two.