Finding a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Motor Neurone Disease (MND), can strike without warning and progress rapidly, devastating those in its path. The disease is incredibly complex, and scientists have long struggled to understand its origins and progression. Molecular biologist Professor Justin Yerbury has dedicated his life to solving the puzzle. He and his team at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute (IHMRI) based at the University of Wollongong, Australia, continue to lead crucial breakthroughs in understanding how ALS is triggered at a molecular level – a fundamental step towards an elusive cure, assisted by funds raised through UOW’s inaugural fundraising appeal for this disease in 2018. “One of the biggest hurdles in finding a treatment and a cure for ALS is effectively delivering drugs to the affected neurons in the brain,” Professor Yerbury explains. “We have discovered a way to increase the chances of gene therapy treatments working by crossing the blood-brain barrier.