Lou Gehrig's Disease News and Research

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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.
Schizophrenics' blood samples feature genetic material from more types of microorganisms

Schizophrenics' blood samples feature genetic material from more types of microorganisms

Treg infusions show promise in slowing progression of ALS

Treg infusions show promise in slowing progression of ALS

Large ALS-causing protein aggregates protect rather than harm neurons

Large ALS-causing protein aggregates protect rather than harm neurons

Scientists find link between over-accumulation of mitochondrial iron and Huntington's disease

Scientists find link between over-accumulation of mitochondrial iron and Huntington's disease

Scientists discover basic molecular mechanism that helps understand how ALS works

Scientists discover basic molecular mechanism that helps understand how ALS works

TSRI research offers explanation for why neurons die off in Parkinson's disease

TSRI research offers explanation for why neurons die off in Parkinson's disease

Study sheds light on a key protein associated with brain diseases and dementia

Study sheds light on a key protein associated with brain diseases and dementia

Researchers discover key inner control mechanism of cell's 'smart glue'

Researchers discover key inner control mechanism of cell's 'smart glue'

Study finds novel therapeutic strategy that preserves neuromuscular synapses in ALS mouse model

Study finds novel therapeutic strategy that preserves neuromuscular synapses in ALS mouse model

USC scientists uncover cellular mechanism responsible for ALS and frontotemporal dementia

USC scientists uncover cellular mechanism responsible for ALS and frontotemporal dementia

Researchers discover gene network that regulates the motor neuron development in growing embryo

Researchers discover gene network that regulates the motor neuron development in growing embryo

Home care agencies often wrongly deny Medicare help to the chronically ill

Home care agencies often wrongly deny Medicare help to the chronically ill

Newly described super-silenced DNA reveals novel approach to reprogram cells

Newly described super-silenced DNA reveals novel approach to reprogram cells

Sickle cell patients, families and doctors face a ‘fight for everything’

Sickle cell patients, families and doctors face a ‘fight for everything’

Scientists provide detailed insight into molecular mechanisms of ALS

Scientists provide detailed insight into molecular mechanisms of ALS

Experts highlight need to better address neurosexuality care for patients with neurodisabilities

Experts highlight need to better address neurosexuality care for patients with neurodisabilities

Research brings scientists one step closer to understanding development of ALS

Research brings scientists one step closer to understanding development of ALS

Researcher discovers enzyme pathway involved in ALS pathogenesis

Researcher discovers enzyme pathway involved in ALS pathogenesis

Study points to possible targets for therapeutic intervention in the fight against ALS

Study points to possible targets for therapeutic intervention in the fight against ALS

New study shows how SNO reaction may contribute to Parkinson's disease

New study shows how SNO reaction may contribute to Parkinson's disease