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.
There are 15 new cases of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, diagnosed in the U.S. each day. The disease causes patients to slowly lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe, and comes with an average life expectancy of two to five years after diagnosis.
Johns Hopkins scientists report that adult cells reprogrammed to become primitive stem cells, called induced pluripotent stem cells, make tiny "cargo packets" able to deliver potentially restorative or repairing proteins, antibodies or other therapies to aged cells.
A special focus on rogue proteins may hold future promise in stopping the progression of nerve cell destruction in people who have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or frontotemporal dementia.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have found that the enzymes ULK1 and ULK2 play a key role in breaking down cell structures called stress granules, whose persistence leads to toxic buildup of proteins that kill muscle and brain cells.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have cracked the mystery surrounding the most common genetic cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease.
A University of Texas at Arlington College of Nursing and Health Innovation professor will use a series of grants totaling approximately $6.575 million during the next five years to attack a variety of debilitating musculoskeletal diseases.
While exact causes of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) remain unknown, new research shows pesticides and other environmental pollutants advance the progression of the neurodegenerative disease.
A growing collection of anecdotal stories raises the possibility that nerve injury in an arm or a leg can act as a trigger for the development amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS -- a progressive neurodegenerative disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the famous New York Yankee who died of it in 1941.
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has developed a new artificial intelligence (AI) platform for monitoring and predicting progression of neurodegenerative diseases to help identify markers for personalized patient care and improve drug development.
Following years of research that demonstrated feeding tubes can harm patients with dementia, the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society has published an OHSU opinion paper recommending patient preference for feeding tubes be excluded from Physician Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment, or POLST, forms.
A new drug could significantly slow the progression of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, according to new research by University of Alberta biologists. Current treatments slow progression of the degenerative disease by only a few months, and these findings could revolutionize the treatment of patients suffering from ALS, extending and improving quality of life.
Since the ice bucket challenge went viral in 2014, raising awareness and funding for ALS research, scientists have learned much about a disease that disconnects muscles from nerves, leading to muscle atrophy and eventual death. Their ultimate goal is to create medications capable of stopping ALS in its tracks.
Brian Wainger, MD, PhD, of the Healey Center for ALS at Massachusetts General Hospital presented initial, top-level results of a recently completed phase 2 clinical trial of ezogabine (also called retigabine) on December 9 at the Motor Neurone Disease Association annual meeting in Glasgow, Scotland.
Ivan Marazzi, PhD, Assistant Professor of Microbiology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, was awarded $2.5 million in funding by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to further the understanding of the underlying causes of neurodegenerative disorders such as Lou Gehrig's, Alzheimer's, and Parkinson's diseases. The
Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientists have shown that mutations in specific genes that destroy motor neurons and thereby cause the devastating effects of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-- also known as ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease -- also attack sensory neurons.
Houston Methodist researchers have discovered a repair defect in nerve cells that send messages to the brain, opening the door to a possible therapy for preventing or slowing down ALS.
A scientist has shown how a single mutation in a protein found in astrocytes reproduces fibrous globs that devastate cellular function.
Few treatments exist for neurodegenerative diseases that progressively rob a person's ability to move and think, yet the results of a new study could potentially open additional approaches for exploration.
For decades researchers have worked to shed light on the causes of neurodegenerative disorders, a group of devastating conditions, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, that involve the progressive loss of neurons and nervous system function. In recent years, numerous factors, from genetic mutations to viral infections, have been found to contribute to the development of these diseases.
A class of cancer drugs called PARP inhibitors could be useful for treating and preventing brain disorders, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called Lou Gehrig's disease, and some forms of frontotemporal degeneration, by halting the misplacement of specific proteins that affect nerve cells, according to a study published in Molecular Cell by researchers in the the School of Arts and Sciences and the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.