Motor neurons in healthy individuals send signals to the skeletal muscles. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), however, is currently an incurable, neurodegenerative disease in which motor neurons are severely damaged and can therefore no longer transmit these signals. As a result, the muscles fail to receive instructions and can no longer work, and they gradually waste away. An interdisciplinary team led by physicist Dr. Thomas Herrmannsdörfer and cell biologist Dr. Arun Pal from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) as well as physician Prof. Richard Funk has proven in cell experiments that magnetic fields can restore impaired motor neurons. This could serve as the groundwork for an entirely new therapeutic approach in curing neurodegenerative diseases, as currently reported in Cells, the international journal for cell and molecular biology as well as biophysics.
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