Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT)

ALS, CMT — Martha Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

Martha Bhattacharya, a postdoctoral research scholar in developmental biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., was awarded an MDA development grant totaling $180,000 over a period of three years to study how and why axons degenerate.

Axons are the long extensions of motor neurons (muscle-controlling nerve cells) that link up with muscles. Signals are sent down the axon to cause the muscle to contract. When an axon degenerates, it can no longer carry those signals, leading to weakness.

Paralympian with Mitochondrial Myopathy Swims in London

Update (Oct. 16, 2012): Joe Wise placed fifth in the 400-meter freestyle at the London Paralympic Games. Watch an interview with Joe to learn more about his experiences at the Paralympics.

MDA Commits $10.7 Million to Neuromuscular Disease Research

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 33 new grants totaling $10,684,481 to fund research projects focused on uncovering the causes of, and developing therapies for, neuromuscular disease.

MDA's Board of Directors reviewed and approved the new grants based on recommendations from the Association's Scientific and Medical Advisory Committees, and the grants took effect Aug. 1.

CMT — Stephan Züchner, M.D.

Stephen Züchner, associate professor of human genetics and neurology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $390,000 over three years to identify genes responsible for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).

CMT/FA — Jeffrey Milbrandt, M.D., Ph.D.

MDA awarded a research grant totaling $357,366 over three years to Jeffrey Milbrandt, professor and head of the department of genetics, and professor of pathology & immunology, medicine and neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

EDMD/LGMD/CMT — Yosef Gruenbaum, Ph.D.

MDA awarded a research grant totaling $300,009 over three years to Yosef Gruenbaum, professor and elected chairman at the Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, in Israel.

CMT — Bogdan Beirowski, M.D., Ph.D.

Postdoctoral research scholar Bogdan Beirowski, in the department of genetics at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, was awarded an MDA development grant totaling $180,000 over three years to study how defective Schwann cells lead to nerve-cell damage in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).

CMT — Albena Jordanova

MDA awarded a grant totaling $282,630 to Albena Jordanova, professor in the department of genetics at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, for research into the molecular causes of, and potential drug targets for, a recently discovered form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease known as dominant intermediate CMT type C (DI-CMTC).

CMT — Thien Nguyen, M.D., Ph.D.

MDA has awarded a research grant totaling $420,000 over three years to Thien Nguyen, assistant professor in the department of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. The new funds will help support Nguyen’s research into the breakdown of peripheral nerves (nervous tissue that connects the spinal cord with muscles and sensory organs) in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT).

SMA Research Briefs: New Gene ID'd, Disease Modifier Explored

Below are highlights of two recent studies in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a disease in which the nerve cells (motor neurons) that control muscles in the spinal cord die, causing progressive weakness in the voluntary muscles.   

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