We look at each individual patient’s genome (their DNA), microbiome (the gut) and spinal fluid in precise detail to search for the cause of the underlying issues surrounding the neurodegenerative diseases. We believe that by looking at the interplay between these and the immune system we will be able to create treatment pathways previously unavailable to patients.
A Bit of Background
In sporadic ALS/MND there is no known cause and it is suggested that causation is different for each individual. Treating with one size fits all approach has not worked. We suspect that alterations in the genome or how the genome is regulated / coded is at the centre of most neurodegenerative diseases.
What are the issues?
In each patient, there are many genetic variations and errors that may affect health. Just looking at the genome is not enough. We need to look at how this affects other biological pathways and wherein the cycle things are going wrong.
What is the problem?
You can’t analyse the data you don’t have.
To really find an individualised, precise approach we need to analyse as much genetic data as possible from each person. This can predict what therapeutic approach is best for them. However, there has been a limitation on the type of data people have typically been analysing.
What is the solution?
Technology has now advanced. We have some of the best genome analysts in the world (called bioinformaticians). We have a specialist laboratory.
Iggy Get Out is comprehensively analysing each patient and their family’s DNA and mircoRNA*, their microbiome and also their spinal fluid. We then compare this against databases of clinically relevant genomic and phenotypic information and work in our lab and with researchers to uncover the specific issues related to each patient. This can then lead the way to develop tailored drugs targeting the specific issue (gene therapy) for each patient.
*What is mircoRNA?
microRNA are commonly referred to as DNA junk. Scientists used to think that these parts of our DNA performed no function. However, it turns out that these bits of DNA are actually more important that we think. mircoRNA are involved in transcription – basically they control and regulate our genes, much like a traffic light controls traffic. By targeting microRNA we can switch genes off and on.