The Fly as a Tool to Fight Neurodegenerative Disease

Drosophila melanogaster. Provided by Nancy Bonini for Genes to Genomes blog.
Drosophila melanogaster. Provided by Nancy Bonini for Genes to Genomes blog.

The effects of neurodegenerative diseases can be devastating for patients and their families. In 2007, the United Nations stated that 1 in 6 people in the world are affected by neurological disorders including diseases like Huntington’s, Alzheimer’s, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). With over 600 characterized neurological disorders yet very few treatments, it is imperative that continued research efforts elucidate the mechanisms underlying these diseases in the hopes of developing targeted and effective treatments. As part of the FlyBook inaugural chapters published in the October issue of GENETICS, McGurk et al. put forth the fly as an in vivo model for human neurodegenerative disease and describe how the fly is a vital tool for providing mechanistic insight. Check out my blog post about it at Genes to Genomes!

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