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.
Dying patients with rare diseases struggle to get experimental therapies

Dying patients with rare diseases struggle to get experimental therapies

Cedars-Sinai receives $11.99 million from CIRM to launch ALS clinical trial

Cedars-Sinai receives $11.99 million from CIRM to launch ALS clinical trial

Research identifies distinctive inflammatory signature in a genetic form of ALS

Research identifies distinctive inflammatory signature in a genetic form of ALS

Researchers use gene therapy to prevent learning, memory loss in Alzheimer's mouse model

Researchers use gene therapy to prevent learning, memory loss in Alzheimer's mouse model

Targeting brain protein may lead to new therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative disorders

Targeting brain protein may lead to new therapeutic approaches for neurodegenerative disorders

Researchers identify nonelectrical cells that transition the brain from plasticity to stability

Researchers identify nonelectrical cells that transition the brain from plasticity to stability

Researchers unveil a neuroprotective pathway that suppresses ALS

Researchers unveil a neuroprotective pathway that suppresses ALS

After a decade of lobbying, ALS patients gain faster access to disability payments

After a decade of lobbying, ALS patients gain faster access to disability payments

Antiepileptic drug reduces early signs of clinical dysfunction in people with ALS

Antiepileptic drug reduces early signs of clinical dysfunction in people with ALS

New drug lures stem cells to damaged tissue, improves treatment efficacy

New drug lures stem cells to damaged tissue, improves treatment efficacy

Research on genetic heart disease uncovers new mechanism for heart failure

Research on genetic heart disease uncovers new mechanism for heart failure

Mayo clinic researchers develop a potential test for Machado-Joseph disease

Mayo clinic researchers develop a potential test for Machado-Joseph disease

Experimental ALS drug shows potential to prolong patient survival

Experimental ALS drug shows potential to prolong patient survival

First pathoconnectome shows how eye disease alters retinal circuitry

First pathoconnectome shows how eye disease alters retinal circuitry

ALS and FTLD result from reduced transportation of messenger RNA

ALS and FTLD result from reduced transportation of messenger RNA

Study implicates new gene as driver of motor neuron diseases

Study implicates new gene as driver of motor neuron diseases

Investigational drug may reduce protein buildup and neurological decline linked to ALS, FTD

Investigational drug may reduce protein buildup and neurological decline linked to ALS, FTD

Experimental drug for ALS shows promising results in clinical trial

Experimental drug for ALS shows promising results in clinical trial

Salmonella biofilm protein can cause autoimmune responses, arthritis in animals

Salmonella biofilm protein can cause autoimmune responses, arthritis in animals

Link between ALS and Alzheimer's disease can help advance the search for new therapies

Link between ALS and Alzheimer's disease can help advance the search for new therapies