Grant awarded to advance understanding of cell cross-talk in neurodegeneration
The National Stem Cell Foundation (NSCF) and the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute announced that a grant from NSCF will be used to fund NYSCF research being conducted by NYSCF senior investigator Valentina Fossati, Ph.D. Dr. Fossati and her team are studying how astrocytes, the "power convertors" of cells in the central nervous system (CNS), can be manipulated to halt or prevent neurodegeneration.
Understanding cross-talk between cells in the central nervous system is the next frontier for the development of new therapies to treat multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's disease, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and other disorders. NYSCF's MS research focuses on the role astrocytes play in the loss or destruction of myelin, the insulation around nerve fibers that allows messages to be transmitted from the brain to other parts of the body.
Reprogramming cells to halt myelin loss would prevent the loss of function caused by myelin damage in multiple sclerosis.