Researchers at Harvard Medical School and the Tufts School of Medicine have identified an inflammatory response that is associated with ALS. Using a mouse-model of the disease based on a mutation in the SOD1 protein, scientists discovered an activation of inflammatory monocytes that invaded the spinal cord. This response was associated with neuronal death as the number of microglia decreased during disease progression. Humans suffering from ALS had a similar inflammatory signature, validating the animal model and implicating this immune response in the disease. The research provides hope that modulation of this inflammatory response may be a therapeutic target to prevent ALS progression.