ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms


How targeting HERV pathology or retroviral activity could treat ALS

October 15, 2015 7:00 AM UTC

Although GeNeuro S.A. has made the case for human endogenous retroviruses (HERVs) in multiple sclerosis, it's been a slow road to establish a solid link for the viruses to other diseases. An NIH group has now found a link between HERVs and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by studying a rare subset of HIV patients with ALS-type symptoms, and the team plans to explore whether HIV antiretroviral therapies (ARTs) could be redesigned to treat the neurological disease.

"Researchers have been looking into HERVs in different diseases and we do have a therapeutic targeting a HERV protein in development for MS, but the idea hasn't gained as much traction as it should and has remained controversial," said Avindra Nath, principal investigator on the new study and senior investigator in the section of infections of the nervous system at NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). ...