Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy

To ignite and nurture creative, ethical, scientific minds that advance the human condition.

IMSA Great Minds Program - Dr. P. Hande Ozdinler

Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors that Control Motor Neuron Vulnerability in ALS  

featuring Dr. Pembe Hande Ozdinler

May 12, 2011

Even though there are millions of neurons in our brain, in neurodegenerative diseases only a select set of neurons show vulnerability and progressively degenerate. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), motor neurons in the cortex and spinal cord show selective vulnerability. Their progressive degeneration results in lack of control over voluntary movement, without affecting memory and cognitive function. We are developing novel approaches to understand cellular and molecular mechanisms responsible for motor neuron degeneration. Our findings will allow cell-based therapeutic interventions in the near future.