Antibodies against misfolded antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) may help people with the sporadic form of ALS (sALS) live longer according to a new study published this month.  The study which included nearly 300 people with sALS found that participants that produced antibodies against a misfolded form of the enzyme lived nearly 2.5 years longer than those that did not.  These results suggest that immunization strategies directed against misfolded SOD1 may have the potential to slow the progression of the disease even in people without ALS-associated SOD1 mutations.

Superoxide Dismutase 1 (SOD1). Conformational changes in SOD1 may contribute to sALS according to recent results.  Mutations in SOD1 are associated with 15-20% of cases of familial ALS. Image: Emw, Wikimedia.


van Blitterswijk, M. et al. (2011) Anti-superoxide dismutase antibodies are associated with survival in patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Amyotrophic  Lateral  Sclerosis. doi 10.3109/17482968.2011.585163 Abstract Full Text (Subscription Required)

Further Reading

Bosco, D.A. et al. (2010) Wild-type and mutant SOD1 share an aberrant conformation and a common pathogenic pathway in ALS. Nature Neuroscience, 13, 1396-1403. Abstract Full Text (Subscription Required)