Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

MDA Awards $21 Million for Research

In December 2009, MDA awarded $21 million in new research grants for neuromuscular disease research.

MDA's Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) meet each fall and spring to review applications for research grants. Applications are scored on the basis of the capabilities of the applicant, the scientific merit of the project, and the proposal's relevance to developing treatments for the diseases in MDA's program. MDA's Board of Directors then reviews the recommendations of the MAC and SAC.

MDA Awards $21 Million for Research

In December 2009, MDA awarded $21 million in new research grants for neuromuscular disease research.

MDA's Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC) and Medical Advisory Committee (MAC) meet each fall and spring to review applications for research grants. Applications are scored on the basis of the capabilities of the applicant, the scientific merit of the project, and the proposal's relevance to developing treatments for the diseases in MDA's program. MDA's Board of Directors then reviews the recommendations of the MAC and SAC.

ALS Research: Restoring Disrupted Connections

A molecule called microRNA 206, produced by muscle fibers after an injury to nerve cells, helps rebuild crucial nerve-muscle communications, say scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and Harvard University. They say raising levels of microRNA 206 or amplifying its effects in some other way could become a new therapeutic avenue in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

They found that mice with an ALS-like disease fared worse without microRNA 206 than with it.

ALS Research: Restoring Disrupted Connections

A molecule called microRNA 206, produced by muscle fibers after an injury to nerve cells, helps rebuild crucial nerve-muscle communications, say scientists at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and Harvard University. They say raising levels of microRNA 206 or amplifying its effects in some other way could become a new therapeutic avenue in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

They found that mice with an ALS-like disease fared worse without microRNA 206 than with it.

International ALS Conference

ALS researchers from around the world gathered in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 8-10, to report on and discuss the latest research advances in this disease.

Daily updates from the symposium are available online at the Web sites of the Motor Neurone Disease Association (MNDA Symposium reports) and ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI Symposium reports). 

ALS Research: Poison Dirt?

New findings suggest a possible link between dust-dwelling bacterial toxins and an elevated incidence of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in Gulf War veterans.

The study blames cyanobacteria, microorganisms that live in desert sands and which can be inhaled when they’re kicked up in dust, such as when a convoy of military vehicles rumbles by. Cyanobacteria are common throughout the world in salt water, fresh water and soil.

ALS Research: Poison Dirt?

New findings suggest a possible link between dust-dwelling bacterial toxins and an elevated incidence of ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in Gulf War veterans.

The study blames cyanobacteria, microorganisms that live in desert sands and which can be inhaled when they’re kicked up in dust, such as when a convoy of military vehicles rumbles by. Cyanobacteria are common throughout the world in salt water, fresh water and soil.

International ALS Conference

ALS researchers from around the world gathered in Berlin, Germany, Dec. 8-10, to report on and discuss the latest research advances in this disease.

ALS Drug Trial Restarted

A clinical trial of an experimental drug for ALS -- halted almost two years ago due to safety concerns –- has been given the green light to continue with a revised protocol, says CytRx Corp. of Los Angeles, the drug’s manufacturer.

ALS Drug Trial Restarted

A clinical trial of an experimental drug for ALS -- halted almost two years ago due to safety concerns –- has been given the green light to continue with a revised protocol, says CytRx Corp. of Los Angeles, the drug’s manufacturer.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration placed a hold on the phase 2b trial of arimoclomol in January 2008, saying it wanted to see more toxicity data from previously completed animal studies. CytRx announced on Dec. 2, 2009, that it had received FDA permission to continue human testing.

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