Published: 05-07-2023 09:55 | Updated: 05-07-2023 09:55

New thesis: T cell responses in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: friends or foes?

Solmaz Yazdani, Unit of Integrative Epidemiology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM)

Solmaz Yazdani

In this thesis, our research focused on investigating the temporal dynamics of immune responses in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using different cohorts. Our studies spanned from years preceding ALS diagnosis to a few years following diagnosis. Although we did not discover strong evidence for immune response involvement prior to ALS diagnosis, we found that T cell responses at the time of diagnosis held predictive value for disease progression and patient survival. Additionally, our findings provided novel evidence suggesting the potential role of a specific subset of T cells, namely CD4+ cytotoxic lymphocytes, in ALS, which had not been previously established.

Furthermore, this thesis explored important methodological considerations pertaining to the analysis of immune responses in ALS. We discussed the complexities and challenges associated with studying immune mechanisms in this context, exploring factors such as cohort selection, follow-up times and data analysis methodologies. By addressing these methodological considerations, we aimed to enhance the reliability and validity of future studies investigating immune responses in ALS.

The dissertation will take place on August 18th, at 1 PM in Samuelssonsalen.

Supervisor: Fang Fang, Unit of Integrative Epidemiology, Institute of Environmental Medicine (IMM), Karolinska Institutet

Opponent: Stanley H. Appel, Department of Neurology, Houston Methodist