Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Scholarships, Grants Available to People with Disabilities

(Update 9/14/11: The 2011 scholarship winners have been selected. To view a list of winners visit www.deshae.org/cmms/awards/2011/scholars.pdf. Applications for quality of life grants continue to be accepted and are awarded on an ongoing basis.)

Phase 3 Trial of Dexpramipexole Launched in ALS

Update 8/31/11: Enrollment screening for this study has closed to new prospective participants.

MDA Awards Grant to Glialogix to Test Potential ALS Treatment

MDA is funding research into a potential treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) that inhibits excessive glutamate signaling in the brain and spinal cord.

ALS Research Briefs

TDP43 has unexpectedly extensive role

Scientists have found that the protein TDP43 normally influences the synthesis of more than 1,500 other proteins, including itself. Mutations in the gene for TDP43 are a known cause of ALS, and TDP43 is depleted in the nucleus and enriched in the cytoplasm (main cell compartment) in ALS-affected nerve cells, even when no TDP43 mutations exist. Understanding TDP43's many functions is likely to improve understanding of ALS.

For more, see:

MDA Awards Grant to Test Heat Shock Protein in ALS Mice

UPDATE (April 9, 2012): MDA and ALS Biopharma agreed to terminate this project in April 2012, when ALS Biopharma determined that it was unable to manufacture its HSP70-based compound in a pure enough form to meet study standards.  The ability to reliably produce the compound in sufficient quantity and quality for testing purposes was one of a number of milestones that had to be met in order for the project to receive full funding.

MDA Conference Brings Together Researchers, Clinicians, Industry

Moving therapeutic strategies from the laboratory to clinical trials and ultimately to the market as treatments was the theme of the MDA National Scientific Conference held March 13-16, 2011, in Las Vegas.

Some 300 people attended the conference, the first in a planned series of such MDA-sponsored meetings that will emphasize new research and current medical care. The majority of presenters and many of the audience members were current or former MDA research grantees or physicians at MDA-supported clinics.

Faith Keeps Him Singing

The last song Joe Paul Nichols recorded before ALS took his voice was a country gospel standard called “Faith:”

You must have faith
In everything you do
Faith will help you find a way
Faith will see you through

Faith can move mountains
And change the tide at sea
You can follow this guiding light
Wherever you may be

Reactivated Virus May Contribute to ALS

New research suggests that the DNA of a normally dormant virus may be playing a role in causing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

If the findings are confirmed, they could ultimately have implications for treatment of the disease.

About the HERV-K virus

ALS Research Briefs

Loss of TDP43's normal function could be ALS contributor

MDA Awards $2 Million to ALS TDI

MDA has awarded $2 million to the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) in Cambridge, Mass., to help scientists complete the preclinical testing of four promising new compounds in ALS TDI's drug development pipeline. 

The grant, made through MDA's Augie's Quest ALS fundraising initiative, raises MDA's total grant contributions to ALS TDI to more than $23.4 million since 2007.

About the new funding

ALS TDI plans to test the four new compounds in the SOD1 ALS research mouse model.

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