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.
Researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to turn into working spinal cord cells

Researchers coax human embryonic stem cells to turn into working spinal cord cells

The sponginess of the environment where human embryonic stem cells are growing affects the type of specialized cells they eventually become, a University of Michigan study shows. [More]
Researcher pinpoints error in protein formation that could be root of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Researcher pinpoints error in protein formation that could be root of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

By studying nerve cells that originated in patients with a severe neurological disease, a University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher has pinpointed an error in protein formation that could be the root of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. [More]
Harvard stem cell scientists discover potential treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Harvard stem cell scientists discover potential treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Harvard stem cell scientists have discovered that a recently approved medication for epilepsy may possibly be a meaningful treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)-Lou Gehrig's disease, a uniformly fatal neurodegenerative disorder. The researchers are now collaborating with Massachusetts General Hospital to design an initial clinical trial testing the safety of the treatment in ALS patients. [More]
Cedars-Sinai earns grant to conduct clinical trial of gene therapy product for patients with Lou Gehrig's disease

Cedars-Sinai earns grant to conduct clinical trial of gene therapy product for patients with Lou Gehrig's disease

The Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute has received a $2.5 million grant from the Department of Defense to conduct animal studies that, if successful, could provide the basis for a clinical trial of a gene therapy product for patients with Lou Gehrig's disease, also called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS. [More]
New research implicates that RNA processing is central to ALS disease process

New research implicates that RNA processing is central to ALS disease process

In work supported by The ALS Association, researchers have discovered a new ALS-causing gene and have linked its function to that of another prominent disease gene. The study was published in the journal Nature Neuroscience. [More]
Study points to potential culprit that kills motor neurons in ALS

Study points to potential culprit that kills motor neurons in ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is marked by a cascade of cellular and inflammatory events that weakens and kills vital motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The process is complex, involving cells that ordinarily protect the neurons from harm. Now, a new study by scientists in The Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital points to a potential culprit in this good-cell-gone-bad scenario, a key step toward the ultimate goal of developing a treatment. [More]

New way to make large concentrations of skeletal muscle cells from human stem cells

As stem cells continue their gradual transition from the lab to the clinic, a research group at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has discovered a new way to make large concentrations of skeletal muscle cells and muscle progenitors from human stem cells. [More]
Neuralstem announces results from Phase I trial using NSI-566 spinal cord stem cells in treatment of ALS

Neuralstem announces results from Phase I trial using NSI-566 spinal cord stem cells in treatment of ALS

Neuralstem, Inc. (NYSE MKT: CUR) announced that the final results from the Phase I safety trial using NSI-566 spinal cord stem cells in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) were published in the peer-reviewed journal, "Annals of Neurology". [More]
Scientists reveal how a genetic code variation results in devastating brain diseases

Scientists reveal how a genetic code variation results in devastating brain diseases

New findings reveal how a mutation, a change in the genetic code that causes neurodegeneration, alters the shape of DNA, making cells more vulnerable to stress and more likely to die. [More]
Stem cells from patients offer model, drug-discovery platform for early-onset form of Alzheimer's

Stem cells from patients offer model, drug-discovery platform for early-onset form of Alzheimer's

Harvard stem cell scientists have successfully converted skins cells from patients with early-onset Alzheimer's into the types of neurons that are affected by the disease, making it possible for the first time to study this leading form of dementia in living human cells. This may also make it possible to develop therapies far more quickly and accurately than before. [More]

Neuroscientists unlock a piece of puzzle in fight against Lou Gehrig's disease

Keck School of Medicine of USC neuroscientists have unlocked a piece of the puzzle in the fight against Lou Gehrig's disease, a debilitating neurological disorder that robs people of their motor skills. [More]
FDA approves CSC’s Phase II clinical trial for cancer immunotherapy in women with ovarian cancer

FDA approves CSC’s Phase II clinical trial for cancer immunotherapy in women with ovarian cancer

California Stem Cell, Inc. (CSC) announced today that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the Company's application to begin a Phase II clinical trial exploring the potential of a patient-specific cancer immunotherapy in women with Stage III or IV ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer. [More]

Study points to unique therapeutic approach for managing muscle-wasting conditions

New findings on why skeletal muscle stem cells stop dividing and renewing muscle mass during aging points up a unique therapeutic opportunity for managing muscle-wasting conditions in humans, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study. [More]

LA Fitness to host in-club Group Fitness class in support of Augie's Quest

In support of Augie's Quest, LA Fitness announced today that it will host an in-club Group Fitness class at more than 500 of the company's locations on February 22, 2014. Augie's Quest is a nonprofit research initiative dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). LA Fitness has donated to Augie's Quest for several years, and this year's fundraiser marks the fourth in-club event the company has held in support of this worthy cause. [More]
Prions and their shadow proteins: an interview with Dr Jiri Safar, Co-Director of the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center

Prions and their shadow proteins: an interview with Dr Jiri Safar, Co-Director of the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center

The prion diseases were originally discovered by Dr Gajdusek and Dr Gibbs. The first disease discovered was Kuru, which was affecting native tribes in the Papua New Guinea highlands in the 1950s. [More]
DP stimulation in spinal cord-injured patients is successful in weaning patients from mechanical ventilators

DP stimulation in spinal cord-injured patients is successful in weaning patients from mechanical ventilators

A new study published in the Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery finds that diaphragm pacing (DP) stimulation in spinal cord-injured patients is successful not only in weaning patients from mechanical ventilators but also in bridging patients to independent respiration, where they could breathe on their own without the aid of a ventilator or stimulation. [More]
Researchers examine how toxin triggers motor neuron death

Researchers examine how toxin triggers motor neuron death

In most cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, a toxin released by cells that normally nurture neurons in the brain and spinal cord can trigger loss of the nerve cells affected in the disease, Columbia researchers reported today in the online edition of the journal Neuron. [More]

Study offers new avenue to pursue in quest for desperately needed treatments for ALS

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists led a study showing that mutations in a gene responsible for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disrupt the RNA transport system in nerve cells. [More]
Loyola University neuropsychologist find little evidence that chronic traumatic encephalopathy actually exists

Loyola University neuropsychologist find little evidence that chronic traumatic encephalopathy actually exists

The media have widely reported that a debilitating neurological condition called chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a well-established disease in retired athletes who played football and other contact sports. [More]

CUMC researchers identify gene that appears to play major role in motor neuron degeneration in ALS

Columbia University Medical Center researchers have identified a gene, called matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), that appears to play a major role in motor neuron degeneration in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The findings, made in mice, explain why most but not all motor neurons are affected by the disease and identify a potential therapeutic target for this still-incurable neurodegenerative disease. The study was published today in the online edition of the journal Neuron. [More]