Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

ALS, CMT — Martha Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

Martha Bhattacharya, a postdoctoral research scholar in developmental biology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo., was awarded an MDA development grant totaling $180,000 over a period of three years to study how and why axons degenerate.

Axons are the long extensions of motor neurons (muscle-controlling nerve cells) that link up with muscles. Signals are sent down the axon to cause the muscle to contract. When an axon degenerates, it can no longer carry those signals, leading to weakness.

Podcast: What Happened with Dexpramipexole for ALS?

ALS Stem Cell Trial in Israel Is ‘Accelerated’

Phase 3 Trial of Dexpramipexole in ALS Fails to Show Benefit

Biotechnology company Biogen Idec today announced disappointing results from its phase 3 trial of dexpramipexole, an experimental drug the company has been developing to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ALS Briefs from the 2012 ALS/MND Symposium

The 23rd International Symposium on ALS/MND (motor neuron disease), held in Chicago Dec. 5-7, 2012, brought together more than 900 researchers, clinicians and other health care professionals from 30 countries to hear presentations on the latest in ALS care and research.

ALS Briefs: Clinical Trial Updates at the 2012 ALS/MND Symposium

The 23rd International Symposium on ALS/MND (motor neuron disease), held in Chicago Dec. 5-7, 2012, brought together more than 900 researchers, clinicians and other health care professionals from 30 countries to hear presentations on the latest in ALS care and research.

Tirasemtiv Shows Promise in MG

The experimental drug tirasemtiv has shown promise in a phase 2a clinical trial in 32 people with myasthenia gravis (MG). Improvements in general and respiratory muscle function occurred in response to the medication.

Six hours after receiving a single, oral dose of tirasemtiv, study participants showed improvements on a standardized scale of MG severity (the Quantitative MG score) and in forced vital capacity, a measurement of respiratory function.

ALS Research Briefs: Protein Biomarker and Stem Cells

Protein test predicts ALS progression

It’s known that levels of a protein called phosphorylated neurofilament heavy subunit (PNF-H) are increased in the spinal fluid of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Now, a team of researchers has demonstrated that higher levels of PNF-H in both the blood and spinal fluid are associated with a faster rate of ALS disease progression and shorter survival time.

Regulatory Cells Associated with Speed of ALS Progression

Immune system cells known as regulatory T cellsT-regs for short — have been found to play a protective role in mice with a disorder that resembles human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). They don't prevent the disease in genetically susceptible mice, but they do appear to slow it down, probably by putting a brake on inflammation in the central nervous system.

ALS Briefs: Serotonergic Neurons and Counteracting Problematic Proteins

Nerve cells called serotonergic neurons degenerate in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and may influence the ALS disease process, an international research team has reported. In particular, the loss of these specialized cells appears to be linked to increased muscle tone or tightness (spasticity).

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