Mohamed Farah, assistant professor of neurology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $375,000 over a period of three years to test drugs in models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
In ALS, muscle-controlling nerve cells called motor neurons become dysfunctional before they die, and that period of dysfunction may represent an important window in which new therapies could rescue them. “The overall goal of this grant is to investigate whether the capacity of motor nerves to regenerate after insult or disease can be enhanced to a degree that results in functional recovery,” Farah says.
He will be testing whether drugs originally designed for Alzheimer’s disease can offer benefit in animal models of ALS by increasing neuronal regeneration and restoring neuromuscular function when given in the early stages of disease.
Funding for this MDA grant began Feb. 1, 2013.