Lou Gehrig's Disease News and Research RSS Feed - Lou Gehrig's Disease News and Research

Lou Gehrig's Disease or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurological disorder characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neuron cells in the spinal cord and brain, which ultimately results in paralysis and death. The disease takes its less-scientific name from Lou Gehrig, a baseball player with the New York Yankees in the late 1920s and 1930s, who was forced to retire in 1939 as a result of the loss of motor control caused by the disease.

In 1991, a team of researchers linked familial ALS to chromosome 21. Two years later, the SOD1 gene was identified as being associated with many cases of familial ALS. The enzyme coded for by SOD1 carries out a very important function in cells: it removes dangerous superoxide radicals by converting them into non-harmful substances. Defects in the action of this enzyme mean that the superoxide radicals attack cells from the inside, causing their death. Several different mutations in this enzyme all result in ALS, making the exact molecular cause of the disease difficult to ascertain.

Recent research has suggested that treatment with drugs called antioxidants may benefit ALS patients. However, since the molecular genetics of the disease are still unclear, a significant amount of research is still required to design other promising treatments for ALS.
ALS Association announces research funds to further understand genetic cause of ALS

ALS Association announces research funds to further understand genetic cause of ALS

The ALS Association is pleased to announce the award of $326,662 in research funds to expand ongoing natural history studies in order to further understand the most common genetic cause of ALS, in preparation for clinical trials in those whose disease is affected by this gene. [More]
Researchers reveal that genetic mutations may cause more cases of ALS

Researchers reveal that genetic mutations may cause more cases of ALS

Genetic mutations may cause more cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) than scientists previously had realized, according to researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The scientists also showed that the number of mutated genes influences the age when the fatal paralyzing disorder first appears. [More]
Genetics may play major role in Lou Gehrig's disease, study reveals

Genetics may play major role in Lou Gehrig's disease, study reveals

Genetics may play a larger role in causing Lou Gehrig's disease than previously believed, potentially accounting for more than one-third of all cases, according to one of the most comprehensive genetic studies to date of patients who suffer from the condition also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. [More]
Researchers remake brain and gut stem cells to study potential therapies for fatal diseases

Researchers remake brain and gut stem cells to study potential therapies for fatal diseases

Research scientists have developed a novel method to re-create brain and intestinal stem cells from patients who died decades ago, using DNA from stored blood samples to study the potential causes of debilitating illnesses such as inflammatory bowel disease. [More]
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center releases November tip sheet of story ideas

Cedars-Sinai Medical Center releases November tip sheet of story ideas

Following is the November 2014 tip sheet of story ideas from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. [More]
Research paves way for improving efficacy of ALS treatement

Research paves way for improving efficacy of ALS treatement

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that primarily kills motor neurons, leading to paralysis and death 2 to 5 years from diagnosis. Currently ALS has no cure. Despite promising early-stage research, the majority of drugs in development for ALS have failed. Now researchers have uncovered a possible explanation. [More]
Aging astrocytes lose ability to protect motor neurons, reveal Cedars-Sinai ALS researchers

Aging astrocytes lose ability to protect motor neurons, reveal Cedars-Sinai ALS researchers

Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, attacks muscle-controlling nerve cells – motor neurons – in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord, leading to progressive weakness and eventual paralysis of muscles throughout the body. Patients typically survive only three to five years after diagnosis. [More]
Digoxin drug may be adaptable for ALS treatment, study suggests

Digoxin drug may be adaptable for ALS treatment, study suggests

Digoxin, a medication used in the treatment of heart failure, may be adaptable for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive, paralyzing disease, suggests new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. [More]
UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center named new 'alpha clinic'

UC San Diego Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center named new 'alpha clinic'

In a push to further speed clinical development of emerging stem cell therapies, Sanford Stem Cell Clinical Center at UC San Diego Health System was named today one of three new "alpha clinics" by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, the state's stem cell agency. [More]
Scientists use innovative exome sequencing strategy to identify new gene associated with ALS

Scientists use innovative exome sequencing strategy to identify new gene associated with ALS

Using an innovative exome sequencing strategy, a team of international scientists led by John Landers, PhD, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School has shown that TUBA4A, the gene encoding the Tubulin Alpha 4A protein, is associated with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurological disorder also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. [More]
Proteins linked to severe forms of ALS are less stable, suggests new study

Proteins linked to severe forms of ALS are less stable, suggests new study

A new study by scientists from The Scripps Research Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and other institutions suggests a cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. [More]
UCI to receive $8 million from NIH to study brain cell activity in motor neuron disorders

UCI to receive $8 million from NIH to study brain cell activity in motor neuron disorders

UC Irvine will receive $8 million from the National Institutes of Health to establish one of six national centers dedicated to creating a database of human cellular responses that will accelerate efforts to develop new therapies for many diseases. [More]
FDA designates NurOwn as Fast Track product for ALS treatment

FDA designates NurOwn as Fast Track product for ALS treatment

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Inc., a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has designated NurOwn as a Fast Track product for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease). [More]
Cedars-Sinai to participate in a consortium studying motor neuron disorders

Cedars-Sinai to participate in a consortium studying motor neuron disorders

Investigators at the Cedars-Sinai Board of Governors Regenerative Medicine Institute have received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to participate in a consortium taking the study of motor neuron disorders - such as Lou Gehrig's disease and spinal muscular atrophy - to a new, comprehensive perspective. [More]
Northwestern scientists develop first animal model for ALS dementia

Northwestern scientists develop first animal model for ALS dementia

The first animal model for ALS dementia, a form of ALS that also damages the brain, has been developed by Northwestern Medicine- scientists. The advance will allow researchers to directly see the brains of living mice, under anesthesia, at the microscopic level. This will allow direct monitoring of test drugs to determine if they work. [More]
New study sheds light on longstanding question about role of mitochondria in motor neuron diseases

New study sheds light on longstanding question about role of mitochondria in motor neuron diseases

A new study by researchers at the University of Utah School of Medicine sheds light on a longstanding question about the role of mitochondria in debilitating and fatal motor neuron diseases and resulted in a new mouse model to study such illnesses. [More]
Six research institutions awarded NIH grants to create database of human cellular responses

Six research institutions awarded NIH grants to create database of human cellular responses

Building on a successful three-year pilot project, the National Institutes of Health has awarded more than $64 million to six research institutions to create a database of human cellular responses, the Library of Integrated Network-based Cellular Signatures. [More]
New approach to turn diseased cells into unique manufacturing sites for treating muscular dystrophy

New approach to turn diseased cells into unique manufacturing sites for treating muscular dystrophy

In a new study that could ultimately lead to many new medicines, scientists from the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have adapted a chemical approach to turn diseased cells into unique manufacturing sites for molecules that can treat a form of muscular dystrophy. [More]
First Edition: August 28, 2014

First Edition: August 28, 2014

Today's headlines include reports about the Congressional Budget Office's latest projections regarding Medicare and Medicaid spending. [More]

ALS Association surpasses $10 million in "Ice Bucket" donations

Today, The ALS Association announced it has surpassed $10 million in "Ice Bucket" donations. Specifically, as of Saturday, August 16, 2014, The ALS Association has received $11.4 million in donations compared to $1.7 million during the same time period last year (July 29 to August 16). [More]