Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

ALS Experts Urge Caution Regarding Head Injury Findings

A new study has claimed professional athletes who have sustained repeated head injuries and developed what's known as "chronic traumatic encephalopathy" (CTE) may also be at higher-than-average risk for developing a motor neuron disease that resembles amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or is a subtype of ALS.

The two diseases may be part of a continuum of nervous-system pathology that can start with repeated head trauma and ultimately involve the brain and spinal cord, resulting in cognitive, behavioral and motor abnormalities, the study's investigators say.

MDA Awards More Than $14 Million in Research Grants

MDA has awarded 38 new research grants totaling more than $14 million and covering more than a dozen neuromuscular diseases. 

MDA's Board of Directors met in Los Angeles July 16, where it reviewed and approved the new grants based on recommendations from the MDA Scientific and Medical Advisory Committees. Grants were scored and recommended for approval based on the capabilities of the applicant, the scientific merit of the project, and the proposal's relevance to developing treatments for the disease. The effective start date for all grants was July 1, 2010.

MDA Awards Nearly $3.5 Million in New ALS Grants

MDA has awarded 10 grants totaling nearly $3.5 million to fund research projects focused on uncovering the causes of, and developing therapies for, ALS.

The new grants went to investigators at labs in the United States, Canada and Israel.

More FUS-Related ALS Cases Found

Mutations in the gene for a protein called FUS may be a more widely distributed cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) than previously recognized, according to three separate reports, all published in July 2010 in the journal Neurology.

Blocking a Protein Extends Survival in ALS Mice

Elevated levels of an immune-system protein called interleukin-1-beta (IL-1-beta) exacerbates a disease in mice that closely resembles human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and blocking this protein extends survival in these mice, a research team in Germany has found.

The study adds to the accumulating evidence that the immune system misbehaves in ALS and that altering its behavior could be a way to treat the disease.

ALS TDI Posts Quarterly Research Update

The ALS Therapy Development Institute’s second-quarter Research Update discussed new thinking about how ALS develops and progresses, and described progress in testing nearly 30 compounds targeting various ALS-related pathways.

Study to Probe Oxidative Stress in People With ALS

More than 400 people who recently received an ALS diagnosis are being sought for a large study of a cell-damaging phenomenon called "oxidative stress," common in ALS and other degenerative diseases.

Oxidative stress is a type of damage that results from high levels of toxic byproducts of energy production inside cells. These toxic chemicals — known as free radicals — normally are present, but when they're produced in excess or when cells become unable to detoxify them, they become dangerous.

‘Power for the Journey’ Gives Back to ALS Community

When you’re hoping to earn $14, but wind up making $20 instead, that’s good reason to be happy.

Marlene Zaleski and four of her friends found themselves in just such a situation, except the $14 was $14,000, and the final tally from their ALS fundraising run/walk in Cookeville, Tenn., on April 24 was not $20 but $20,118. All proceeds from the event went to MDA’s Augie’s Quest ALS research effort.

Fitness Giant Bally Goes All Out for Augie’s Quest

For the third year in a row, Bally Total Fitness is pulling out all the stops to raise funds for MDA’s Augie’s Quest ALS research initiative.  

Of Mice and Men: ALS TDI Discusses ALS Research Animals

Sean Scott, the late president of the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) in Cambridge, Mass., used to compare ALS to a building fire in which firemen show up focused on one thing: putting out the fire as quickly as possible.

Scott believed that same sense of urgency and focus should be directed at stopping ALS, recalled ALS TDI Director of Communications Rob Goldstein during an hour-long public webinar on June 29.

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