Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Experts Discuss ALS

Nearly 600 conferees gathered in Las Vegas Jan. 25-28 for the 2009 MDA National Clinic Directors Conference, where a number of experts presented a broad range of topics covering neuromuscular disease.

One particular area of focus was ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease). Highlights included discussions of cognitive difficulties, immunization strategies in certain of the familial forms of the disease, and stem cells as possible therapy.

Abnormal behavior in ALS may deserve closer look

Stem Cell Research: Major Step

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said yes to a small safety trial of nervous-system stem cells in people with recently sustained injuries to the middle (thoracic) part of the spinal cord, the biopharmaceutical company Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, Calif., announced Jan. 23, 2009.

Dogs with ALS

Researchers at several institutions in the United States and Sweden have found that a mutation in the gene for superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), known to cause ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in 1 percent to 3 percent of human cases, also can cause an ALS-like disease in dogs.

These dogs are the first spontaneously occurring animal model of ALS discovered, the researchers say in their paper, published online Feb. 2 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Stem Cell Research: Major Step

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said yes to a small safety trial of nervous-system stem cells in people with recently sustained injuries to the middle (thoracic) part of the spinal cord, the biopharmaceutical company Geron Corporation of Menlo Park, Calif., announced Jan. 23, 2009.

Dogs with ALS

Researchers at several institutions in the United States and Sweden have found that a mutation in the gene for superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), known to cause ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in 1 percent to 3 percent of human cases, also can cause an ALS-like disease in dogs.

These dogs are the first spontaneously occurring animal model of ALS discovered, the researchers say in their paper, published online Feb. 2 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Flying High ... From a Wheelchair

Flying automobiles … flying lawnmowers … flying doghouses … where’s this madness going to end?

If Chris “Lucky” Carnes has his druthers, the sky’s the limit.

For the past four years, the 33-year-old from Chase City, Va., has been busy practically every weekend with the rapidly growing hobby/sport of model aviation.

Speeding the Course of Clinical Trials

Speeding the Course of Clinical Trials

Speeding the course of clinical trials for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) is one of the main goals of MDA’s new clinical trial network – and the work already has begun.

In DMD ...

Investigators at five elite U.S. centers are working together to support trials and studies and collaborate on DMD-related projects. The centers are located at:

Origin of Viral Protein In ALS Elusive

A study in the May 29 issue of Neurology is the third to find that a viral protein known as reverse transcriptase is more frequently found in the blood of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) than in those who don't have the disease.

Reverse transcriptase is an enzyme that retroviruses (a viral family that includes HIV) use to replicate themselves.

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