If you looked at the motor neurones of people with MND down the microscope, you would see clumps of a protein called TDP-43. Researchers around the world are working to find why these clumps form and how they are linked to MND.
Dr Jemeen Sreedharan has been looking at the effects of TDP-43 in fruit flies. Initially he investigated how TDP-43 caused its effects, later moving on to find ways to reduce or prevent the damage.
After over 3,000 fruit fly breeding experiments, Dr Sreedharan found mutations in three ‘good’ genes that delay motor neurone death. If he can replicate the effects of these three ‘good’ genes in mouse experiments, then it may be a step towards developing therapies against the damaging effects of TDP-43.