Healthy glia
Microglia are the resident immune cells of the brain. They help to remove cellular debris and pathogens.
Oligodendrocytes send out projections that wrap around neuron axons, called myelin. This allows axons to send signals much faster.
Astrocytes are glial cells that help support neurons. They also wrap around capillaries in the brain, producing the blood-brain-barrier.
diseased glia
Frontotemporal Demensia
FTD (frontotemporal dementia) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by loss of neurons in the frontal and temporal lobes. This leads to progressive loss of cognitive function, including memory loss and behavioral changes.
Multiple sclerosis
MS (multiple sclerosis) is a progressive inflammatory demyelinating disease. It is characterized by immune attack of oligodendrocytes and myelin, which eventually leads to axon degeneration and neuronal death.
Hepatic encephalopathy
Hepatic encephalopathy is an accumulation of toxic substances (ammonia) in the brain due to severe liver disfunction. Normally the liver removes these substances, but when it is compromised, these substances go to the brain and damage astrocytes.
Glia treatment
FTD -> Microglia
There are currently no good treatments for FTD, beyond supportive care.
multiple sclerosis -> oligodendrocyte
Natalizumab is an antibody that binds to alpha integrin on immune cells. This blocks B/T-cells from infiltrating the brain, decreasing inflammation and oligodendrocyte loss.
hepatic encephalopathy -> astrocyte
 The gut is a large source of bacteria produced ammonia. This can be decreased with the sugar lactulose, which inhibits gut produced ammonia and promotes the conversion and removal of ammonia in the gut.

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