Dr. Jingsong Zhou has dedicated much of her professional life to research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Because ALS affects neurological function, the majority of research focuses on the spinal cord. Zhou has decided to investigate the theory that ALS affects the physiology of the whole body and is looking specifically at the “cross talk” between defective cells in muscle, gut and bone.
In her latest research published in the journal BONE, Zhou’s lab at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences used the confocal microscope to study the effects of ALS on mitochondria, the powerhouse of cells in bone.
“We study muscle, bone and gut of the ALS mouse model,” Zhou said. “They all have defects. What is the role of the defective mitochondria in ALS? Ultimately we want to find something that can improve mitochondrial function in multiple organs, with the goal of helping patients live a better quality of life.”