Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

FDA To Webcast Its Public Hearing About ALS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will host a public hearing Monday, Feb. 25, 2013, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, in Silver Spring, Md., to discuss the development of drugs for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Low Body Fat Linked with Risk of Developing ALS

Anecdotal evidence has long described a positive association between being lean or underweight and developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Now, results from a large-scale study conducted in Europe appear to confirm these observations, showing that individuals with more body fat have a decreased risk of developing the disease.

Unique ALS ‘Exome-Sequencing’ Project Is Focus of New Grant

ALS — Sunitha Rangaraju, Ph.D.

Sunitha Rangaraju, a postdoctoral research scientist at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., was awarded an MDA development grant totaling $180,000 over a period of three years to determine whether compounds that slow certain aspects of aging may be therapeutic in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Grants Support Study of New Genes, New Drug Discovery Strategies for ALS

Twelve new grants totaling $3.6 million have been awarded in support of research studies that will explore the causes of, and potential treatments for, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

$13.6 Million in New MDA Grants Promote Understanding, Treatment of Neuromuscular Diseases

The Muscular Dystrophy Association has awarded 44 new grants totaling $13.6 million to advance the understanding and treatment of neuromuscular diseases. The new grants, most of which took effect Feb. 1, encompass a range of diseases covered by MDA’s research program, and they support innovative approaches to basic research and new drug development.

In addition to addressing 16 specific neuromuscular diseases under MDA’s umbrella, the grants also fund research into muscular dystrophy in general, and research into muscle physiology related to neuromuscular disease.

Diagnostic Blood Test for ALS Under Development

Development is under way of a blood test that may help doctors rule in or rule out a diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

FDA To Hold ALS Public Hearing: Input Encouraged by Feb. 8

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will hold a public hearing on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) on Feb. 25. It will be open to individuals and caregivers affected by ALS, ALS clinical research experts, and those with strong opinions about the needs of the ALS community.

ALS — Daniela Zarnescu, Ph.D.

Daniela Zarnescu, associate professor of molecular and cellular biology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $405,000 over a period of three years to investigate whether anti-diabetic drugs may reduce the death of muscle-controlling nerve cells called motor neurons in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ALS — Xin Wang, Ph.D.

Xin Wang, assistant professor of neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston, Mass., was awarded an MDA research grant totaling $405,000 over a period of three years to identify and test novel drug candidates for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

The need for new drugs in ALS is clear, Wang says, because the only drug approved for the disease is riluzole, which extends survival on average by only about three months.

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