Surprising contributor to Rett syndrome identified

Public release: April 21, 2015

Cells meant to maintain health worsening neurodevelopmental disorder's progression

University of Virginia Health System

See the full article on EurekAlert!

The immune system is designed to protect us from disease. But what if it was malfunctioning? Would it make a disease worse? That appears to be the case with Rett syndrome, a neurodevelopmental disorder, and possibly in other neurological disorders as well, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine has found.

UVA's discovery suggests that immune cells bearing a mutation in the Rett gene, MeCP2, cannot perform their normal function and are instead amplifying the disease. By identifying a new role of the immune system in the disorder, through cells known as "macrophages," the UVA team has opened up an exciting new pathway to targeting the disease therapeutically.

Read the full article on EurekAlert!