Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

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.

Disruption of ‘Transporter’ Protein May Underlie Neurodegeneration

Disruption of a “transporter” protein called MCT1 (also SL16A1) leads to the degeneration of muscle-controlling nerve cells (motor neurons) in animal and cell culture models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an MDA-supported team of researchers has reported.

In addition, the team found that MCT1 activity is reduced in people with ALS and in mouse models of the disease. 

Study Finds ‘Less Clear’ Distinction Between Sporadic and Familial ALS

In a more than 20-year study of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a research team found that 11 percent of people with a diagnosis of sporadic ALS had mutations in genes associated with the familial form of the disease.

SBMA — Albert La Spada

MDA awarded Albert La Spada, chief of the division of genetics in the department of pediatrics at the University of California, San Diego, $330,000 to study what causes nerve cells called motor neurons to die in spinal-bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA) and other neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease) and spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).

ALS — Daniel Offen

Daniel Offen, head of the neurology laboratory at Tel-Aviv University, Israel, received an MDA grant totaling $359,700 for research into a combined cell and gene therapy approach for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease).

ALS — Daniela Zarnescu

MDA awarded $375,000 to Daniela Zarnescu, assistant professor in neuroscience at the University of Arizona in Tucson, Ariz., to conduct gene and drug discovery research in a drosophila fruit fly model that carries a mutation in the TDP43 gene associated with a genetic form of human ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease).

ALS — Dena Jacob

Research scientist Dena Jacob at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, received an MDA grant totaling $180,000 for research into decreasing cells' resistance to therapeutic medications in ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease).

ALS — Jean-Pierre Julien

MDA awarded a grant totaling $345,000 to Jean-Pierre Julien, professor at Laval University, Canada, for research into genetic variations in a protein called chromogranin B (CHGB) that has been shown to modify disease risk and hasten onset in a type of familial ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease).

ALS — Michael Benatar

Michael Benatar, associate professor of neurology and epidemiology at Emory University in Atlanta, received an MDA grant totaling $525,000 to continue research into the early stage of FALS — familial, or inherited, ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease) — prior to symptom onset.

ALS — Oliver Hobert

MDA awarded $374,511 to Oliver Hobert, professor of biochemistry and molecular biophysics at Columbia University, New York, to study the function of the TDP43 gene, mutations in which can cause ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease).

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