Potential Treatment for ALS

Potential Treatment for ALS

Author: Melania Tesio

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a severe neurodegenerative disease caused by the death of motor neurons, nervous cells which control muscles’ activity. Due to the lack of effective therapies, this pathological condition is fatal. A promising compound for ALS treatment, however, has emerged from a study conducted by Yin Yang, Harvard University, Boston, USA, and colleagues.

While motor neurons derived from ALS, patients died when exposed to toxic stimuli. Treatment with kenpaullone (9-bromo-7,12-dihydro-indolo[3,2-d][1]benzazepin-6(5H)-one, pictured) effectively prolonged the survival of the motor neuron cells and preserved their proper electrical activity. These results were mostly due to kenpaullone’s ability to inhibit MAP4K4 (mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase kinase kinase 4), an enzyme that promotes cellular death.

Kenpaullone may thus represent a future therapeutic option for ALS patients.


  1. Gregory Johnson

    In addition to the potential for ALS, might it also help stop the brain cell death related to Progressive Supranuclear Palsy?


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