Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

New ALS Mouse

Mice carrying a mutation in the gene for the TDP43 protein that's known to cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in humans have been developed by MDA-supported scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The mice may provide an important new research tool in this deadly disease.

ALS Care Guidelines Released

 The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) released its new guidelines on patient care in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on Oct. 13, 2009. Several MDA-affiliated physicians were involved in their development.

FAQs Prepare Public for National ALS Registry

The federal government has released preliminary details about the new National ALS Registry, which will be launched in late 2010. A list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) about ALS and the registry can be viewed online at www.cdc.gov/als.    

More ALS DNA Tests Now Available

A new test panel that can detect “up to 35 percent” of the genetic flaws that can cause familial (inherited) ALS has been announced by Athena Diagnostics of Worcester, Mass.

Athena is a commercial laboratory specializing in DNA testing for neurological disorders.

ALS Research: Cleaning Up Cells

New research supports strategies that augment a natural process in the nervous system called autophagy – a cellular cleanup and garbage-disposal system — as a possible therapeutic avenue in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Autophagy (literally "self-eating") is activated when large amounts of debris and abnormal cellular components require destruction.

ALS Research: Cleaning Up Cells

New research supports strategies that augment a natural process in the nervous system called autophagy – a cellular cleanup and garbage-disposal system — as a possible therapeutic avenue in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Autophagy (literally "self-eating") is activated when large amounts of debris and abnormal cellular components require destruction.

Enhancing Cellular Cleanup Mechanism Helped ALS Mice

New research supports strategies that augment a natural process in the nervous system called autophagy – a cellular cleanup and garbage-disposal system — as a possible therapeutic avenue in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Autophagy (literally "self-eating") is activated when large amounts of debris and abnormal cellular components require destruction.

Gene Mutation Improves SMA Disease Course

Scientists have uncovered a variant (mutation) in the SMN2 gene that leads to production of more full-length SMN protein molecules and a milder version of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). The finding, a naturally occurring point mutation (a single letter change in the DNA code) in this gene, has immediate implications for genetic testing and possible long-term implications for therapy development.

NIH ALS Lithium Trial Stops

The investigators on a study of lithium carbonate in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), funded by the National Institutes of Health, the ALS Association and the ALS Society of Canada, announced Sept. 23, 2009, that they will stop their study after an interim analysis showed the drug was not beneficial. MDA is not a funder of this study.

NIH ALS Lithium Trial Stops

The investigators on a study of lithium carbonate in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), funded by the National Institutes of Health, the ALS Association and the ALS Society of Canada, announced Sept. 23, 2009, that they will stop their study after an interim analysis showed the drug was not beneficial. MDA is not a funder of this study.

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