Interplay between immunity and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Clinical impact


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a debilitating and rapidly fatal neurodegenerative disease. Despite decades
of research and many new insights into disease biology over the 150 years since the disease was first described,
causative pathogenic mechanisms in ALS remain poorly understood, especially in sporadic cases. Our understanding of the role of the immune system in ALS pathophysiology, however, is rapidly expanding.


The aim of this review is to summarize the recent advances regarding the immune system involvement in ALS, with particular attention to clinical translation. 


We focus on the potential pathophysiologic mechanism of the immune system in ALS, discussing local and systemic factors (blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and microbiota) that influence ALS onset and progression in animal models and people. We also explore the potential of Positron Emission Tomography to detect neuroinflammation in vivo, and discuss ongoing clinical trials of therapies targeting the immune system.


With validation in human patients, new evidence in this emerging field will serve to identify novel therapeutic targets and provide realistic hope for personalized treatment strategies.


De Marchi F, Munitic I, Amedei A, Berry JD, Feldman EL, Aronica E, Nardo G, Van Weehaeghe D, Niccolai E, Prtenjaca N, Sakowski SA, Bendotti C, Mazzini L. Interplay between immunity and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Clinical impact. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2021 Jun 19;127:958-978. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2021.06.027. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34153344.

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