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Hirsutella Sinensis: Increasing Life Expectancy in ALS with a Chinese Medicinal Fungus

Discussion in 'Neurology' started by DrVelasquez, Aug 20, 2019.

  1. DrVelasquez

    DrVelasquez Young Member

    Aug 20, 2019
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    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is one of the biggest enigmas of neurodegenerative diseases. Although science and technology have advanced a great deal, we have not yet found the definitive cure for this disease, and most of its kind.

    ALS is a chronic, incurable disorder that has only palliative care. The main affectation is found at the level of the motor neurons -cells in charge of the transmission and execution of voluntary movements and motor activity- of the spinal cord, which begin to be destroyed.

    As part of the attempts to discover a cure, multiple studies have been conducted on specific models of animals sharing the same disease. One of the most interesting was recently published by CNS Neurosciencie & Therapeutics.

    This study, called "Therapeutic effects of Hirsutella sinensis on the disease onset and progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in SOD1G93A transgenic mouse model", involved the use of Hirsutella sinensis, a typical fungus of traditional Chinese medicine to which multiple medicinal benefits have been linked.

    This was based on one of the most accepted theories about the development of ALS: alterations of the microglia which are hyperstimulated cause a brain inflammation which is the fundamental trigger of the disease. This would not occur under normal conditions, since they act as a kind of white blood cells for our brain, protecting it and supporting it in whatever is needed.

    Protocol and Results

    During the study, 28 mice were used and given 1g/kg body weight in 10 ml/kg of water at least once a day. Similarly, a control group was used with 28 mice that only ingested water.

    Several different scales were used, such as the rotarod test, as well as imaging studies to visualize all alterations related to ALS. Real-time PCR and immunofluorescence studies were also performed to check all parameters.

    In summary, it was demonstrated that Hirsutella sinensis can improve three aspects of ALS:

    1) Life expectancy

    2) Muscular Volume and Control

    3) Activation and Change in the Microglia

    This is a rather interesting and overwhelming discovery, which will certainly be followed for a couple of years. For now, we can say that this fungus paints as a good inhibitor of progression and slows down the establishment of ALS, one of the most enigmatic diseases in the neurodegenerative field.

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