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.
Research findings may have implications for ALS and other neurological disorders

Research findings may have implications for ALS and other neurological disorders

MIT scientists design new microfluidic device that mimics neuromuscular junction

MIT scientists design new microfluidic device that mimics neuromuscular junction

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

Researchers use gelation chips to develop strong muscle fibers

Researchers use gelation chips to develop strong muscle fibers

Stem cell procedure may be safe for ALS patients

Stem cell procedure may be safe for ALS patients

NMNAT2 enzyme may help protect against debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorders

NMNAT2 enzyme may help protect against debilitating effects of neurodegenerative disorders

LJI study could provide important target for autoimmune disease interventions

LJI study could provide important target for autoimmune disease interventions

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

Brain's immune cells play direct role in development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Brain's immune cells play direct role in development of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

New scaffold technology could someday help treat Parkinson's disease, other brain-related conditions

New scaffold technology could someday help treat Parkinson's disease, other brain-related conditions

CIRM approves $6.3 million grant to support research on novel stem cell-based therapy for ALS

CIRM approves $6.3 million grant to support research on novel stem cell-based therapy for ALS

Findings offer novel way for creating drugs to stop mitochondria from destroying cells during stress

Findings offer novel way for creating drugs to stop mitochondria from destroying cells during stress

TSRI researchers uncover new molecular mechanism underlying neurodegenerative diseases

TSRI researchers uncover new molecular mechanism underlying neurodegenerative diseases

Small peptide TAxI holds promise for carrying biologic drugs into spinal cord

Small peptide TAxI holds promise for carrying biologic drugs into spinal cord

New treatment could stop progression of ALS

New treatment could stop progression of ALS

Researchers identify protein that could protect against toxic degeneration of cells in ALS

Researchers identify protein that could protect against toxic degeneration of cells in ALS

NIH-funded analysis identifies three genes that contribute to most common form of glaucoma

NIH-funded analysis identifies three genes that contribute to most common form of glaucoma

St. Jude scientists develop interactive tool to advance understanding of mutations that fuel pediatric cancer

St. Jude scientists develop interactive tool to advance understanding of mutations that fuel pediatric cancer

Scientists pin down structure of neuronal protein clumps associated with ALS

Scientists pin down structure of neuronal protein clumps associated with ALS

Utah chemists devise new way to detect DNA damage

Utah chemists devise new way to detect DNA damage