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.
Scientists identify naturally occurring molecule that plays protective role in ALS

Scientists identify naturally occurring molecule that plays protective role in ALS

Researchers at the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute have identified a naturally occurring molecule that has the potential for preserving sites of communication between nerves and muscles in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and over the course of aging -- as well as a molecule that interferes with this helpful process. [More]
Researchers identify mechanism of how circadian clocks in neurons encode daily rhythms of excitability

Researchers identify mechanism of how circadian clocks in neurons encode daily rhythms of excitability

Molecular clocks in cells throughout the body control many physiologic changes in a 24-hour day/night circadian rhythm -- among them the timing of sleep and wakefulness. [More]
New mouse models may open ways to develop therapies for ALS patients

New mouse models may open ways to develop therapies for ALS patients

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive, fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells controlling voluntary muscles. No effective treatments have been found. [More]
Cognitive and physical fitness may have effects on risk of developing ALS

Cognitive and physical fitness may have effects on risk of developing ALS

New research suggests that physical fitness, body mass index (BMI), IQ, and stress resilience in young adulthood may have effects on the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease. [More]
Fruits, vegetables rich in antioxidants and carotenoids linked to better function in ALS patients

Fruits, vegetables rich in antioxidants and carotenoids linked to better function in ALS patients

New research at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health reveals that foods like fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidant nutrients and carotenoids are associated with better function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients around the time of diagnosis. [More]
Cedars-Sinai receives FDA approval to examine safety of combination stem cell-gene therapy in ALS patients

Cedars-Sinai receives FDA approval to examine safety of combination stem cell-gene therapy in ALS patients

Cedars-Sinai regenerative medicine investigators have received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to test a combination stem cell-gene therapy they developed to stall the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neurological disease that causes progressive paralysis and ultimately death. [More]
Researchers discover how toxic proteins linked to neurological diseases impair membrane-less organelles

Researchers discover how toxic proteins linked to neurological diseases impair membrane-less organelles

Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered the way toxic proteins linked to the most common forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) incapacitate membrane-less organelles inside cells. [More]
Study shows how damage to RNA-binding protein contributes to ALS

Study shows how damage to RNA-binding protein contributes to ALS

Although only 10 percent of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases are hereditary, a significant number of them are caused by mutations that affect proteins that bind RNA, a type of genetic material. [More]
BGU researchers elucidate molecular mechanism that could lead to new therapies for ALS

BGU researchers elucidate molecular mechanism that could lead to new therapies for ALS

Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have published a new study that describes a novel molecular mechanism that could lead to the development of new therapies for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). [More]
Abnormal protein in the brain may play important role in development of Alzheimer's disease

Abnormal protein in the brain may play important role in development of Alzheimer's disease

A recently-recognized pathologic protein in the brain may play a larger role in the development of clinical Alzheimer's disease dementia than previously recognized, according to a study by researchers at Rush University Medical Center. [More]
Scientists find way to reverse malfunctioning protein clumps involved in ALS

Scientists find way to reverse malfunctioning protein clumps involved in ALS

In the quest to understand the driving forces behind neurodegenerative diseases, researchers in recent years have zeroed in on clumps of malfunctioning proteins thought to kill neurons in the brain and spinal cord by jamming their cellular machinery. [More]
HMS study reveals key instigator of nerve cell damage in ALS patients

HMS study reveals key instigator of nerve cell damage in ALS patients

Scientists from Harvard Medical School have identified a key instigator of nerve cell damage in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, a progressive and incurable neurodegenerative disorder. [More]
Research findings may have implications for ALS and other neurological disorders

Research findings may have implications for ALS and other neurological disorders

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease) is a progressive disorder that devastates motor nerve cells. People diagnosed with ALS slowly lose the ability to control muscle movement, and are ultimately unable to speak, eat, move, or breathe. [More]
MIT scientists design new microfluidic device that mimics neuromuscular junction

MIT scientists design new microfluidic device that mimics neuromuscular junction

MIT engineers have developed a microfluidic device that replicates the neuromuscular junction -- the vital connection where nerve meets muscle. [More]
Bone marrow transplantation may one day be beneficial to subset of ALS, say researchers

Bone marrow transplantation may one day be beneficial to subset of ALS, say researchers

Harvard Stem Cell Institute researchers at Harvard University and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have found evidence that bone marrow transplantation may one day be beneficial to a subset of patients suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a fatal neurodegenerative disorder more commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. [More]
Researchers use gelation chips to develop strong muscle fibers

Researchers use gelation chips to develop strong muscle fibers

USC researcher Megan L. McCain and colleagues have devised a way to develop bigger, stronger muscle fibers. But instead of popping up on the bicep of a bodybuilder, these muscles grow on a tiny scaffold or "chip" molded from a type of water-logged gel made from gelatin. [More]
Stem cell procedure may be safe for ALS patients

Stem cell procedure may be safe for ALS patients

A phase II clinical trial in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig's disease, suggests that transplanting human stem cells into the spinal cord may be done safely. [More]
NMNAT2 enzyme may help protect against debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorders

NMNAT2 enzyme may help protect against debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorders

A study led by biomedical researchers at Indiana University has found evidence that an enzyme known as NMNAT2 may help protect against the debilitating effects of certain degenerative brain diseases, including Alzheimer's. [More]
LJI study could provide important target for autoimmune disease interventions

LJI study could provide important target for autoimmune disease interventions

Follicular helper T cells (Tfh cells), a rare type of T cells, are indispensable for the maturation of antibody-producing B cells. They promote the proliferation of B cells that produce highly selective antibodies against invading pathogens while weeding out those that generate potentially harmful ones. [More]
Unique mouse model could help study genetic origins and potential treatments for ALS

Unique mouse model could help study genetic origins and potential treatments for ALS

University of Florida Health researchers have developed a unique mouse model that will allow researchers around the world to better study the genetic origins and potential treatments for a neurodegenerative brain disease that causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, often referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease, and frontotemporal dementia. [More]
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