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UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology

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Cell Signalling Lab

Dr Jennifer Pocock

Neuroinflammation and microglia; roles in multiple sclerosis

Microglia are the immune cell of the brain and are implicated in the neurotoxic cascades of an ever-widening range of neurodegenerative diseases.

In normal brain, microglia serve as protectors of the brain remove damaged areas, and aid repair and regeneration. 

However, in chronic inflammatory diseases, microglia may exacerbate damage due to the intensity and extent of their activities.

We have shown that the microglial activation which occurs in neuroinflammatory diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) can lead to pronounced microglial reactivity and apoptosis of both microglia and neighbouring cells.

The focus of our research is to understand the pathways which cause microglial activation in MS, and to use this information to define new targets for therapeutic intervention.