Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

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.

Participants Sought for Three ALS Trials

Research scientists are seeking individuals interested in participating in any of the following three trials in ALS.

High-fat, high-calorie diets

Enrollment is open in an MDA-supported study comparing three tube-feeding formulas – one high in calories; one high in fat calories; and one standard formula – in people with ALS.

Augie's New Book Extols Giving

When MDA ALS Division Co-Chair Augie Nieto was a young businessman just starting out, he had an idea that laid the groundwork for his later, multimillion-dollar success in the fitness industry. Instead of selling his unwanted exercise bikes at a loss, he sent 50 of them as gifts to health club owners across the country. Soon, orders started pouring in.

The Flip of a Switch

Neuraltus Pharmaceuticals of Palo Alto, Calif., is developing a small molecule whose target is regulation of immune system cells believed to contribute to neuroinflammation and disease progression in ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease).

About ALS mechanisms  

ALS TDI: Changes in the Works

In its quarterly Research Update Webcast on May 18, 2010, the ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) informed viewers of a "paradigm shift" in TDI research. The changes include the addition of a new mouse model to the Institute's preclinical drug development program and an increased emphasis on the importance of biological indicators called "biomarkers."

 The webinar also addressed the current state of drug development in ALS, and the ways in which ALS TDI hopes to hasten the process.

SOD1 Versus Other ALS: Apples and Oranges?

Scientists at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago have announced new findings showing some forms of familial and nonfamilial ("sporadic") amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) have commonalities at the molecular level — but that one form of familial ALS may be different.

"Anyone's Life Story" Shows Impact of ALS

ALS — a neuromuscular disease which can cause total paralysis and death within 5 years of diagnosis — often seems to come out of nowhere, striking active and athletic individuals in the prime of life.

ALS: Anyone’s Life Story,” MDA’s special feature for National ALS Awareness Month in May, makes the broad impact of this disease abundantly clear.

ALS Research: Zenvia Improves Emotional Symptoms in ALS

The experimental drug Zenvia, developed by Avanir Pharmaceuticals as a treatment for unwanted laughing/crying spells in ALS, has shown continued promise in lessening the frequency of such episodes in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ALS Research: Zenvia Improves Emotional Symptoms in ALS

The experimental drug Zenvia, developed by Avanir Pharmaceuticals as a treatment for unwanted laughing/crying spells in ALS, has shown continued promise in lessening the frequency of such episodes in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

MDA Study Shows Lithium Not Helpful in ALS

An MDA-supported, 10-center trial of more than 100 people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who took the oral medication lithium carbonate — some in conjunction with the ALS drug riluzole — has shown the drug does not provide benefit for disease progression or survival.

The study also showed that lithium can have concerning side effects, and when taken alone (without riluzole), may actually cause harm.

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