Zebrafish Help Canadian Researchers Provide Answers to Cause of ALS

MARKHAM, ONTARIO  June 4, 2013 — Canadian researcher Edor Kabashi of the Université de Montréal has developed the first animal model to study the function of a gene responsible for the highest percentage of ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Results to date shed light on the cause of the devastating disease.
“Our results indicate that [...]

‘RNA Sponge’ Mechanism May Cause ALS/FTD Neurodegeneration

Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine have demonstrated that this ALS/FTD mutation may be harmful because it creates an “RNA sponge,” soaking up an important regulatory protein that binds RNA.

Identification of Abnormal Protein May Help Diagnose, Treat ALS and Frontotemporal Dementia

“In identifying the novel protein that abnormally accumulates in the brains of affected patients, we have uncovered a potentially new therapeutic target and biomarker that would allow clinicians to confirm diagnosis of the diseases,” says senior author Dr. Leonard Petrucelli, Chair of Neuroscience at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

What Causes Lou Gehrig’s Sticky Masses?

Globs of protein clustered in the neurons that control muscles have long been the hallmark of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the fatal neurodegenerative disease also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Now, a study of the most commonly found mutant gene in people with ALS reveals an unexpected origin of some of those sticky masses, a finding that may offer drug developers a new target for treatments.

Novel Protein May Help Detect Lou Gehrig’s Disease and Dementia, Mayo Clinic Finds

“This new finding sheds light on how the mutation causes these disorders, and it provides us with a marker that helps us track disease progression in patients with this disorder and potentially combat the disease,” says senior author Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D., a molecular neuroscientist and director of the Department of Neuroscience at Mayo Clinic in Florida.

Quest Diagnostics Announces C9ORF72 Genetic Test for ALS

It is the first clinically available testing service for detecting hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9ORF72 gene. The test is offered to aid in the diagnosis of familial and sporadic ALS.

C9ORF72 Comes Into Focus

by Michelle Pflumm, Ph.D., originally published online at ALS.net, February 28, 2012

 FTLD Explained.  FTLD occurs when certain regions of the brain including those involved in critical thinking, problem solving and complex decision-making shrink (red) due to neuronal loss.  FTLD is also known as frontotemporal dementia (FTD).  Here, an MRI of a person with a form [...]

The ALS Association and the Packard Center Partner to Develop Animal Model Systems for Most Common Cause of Familial ALS

“Following the discovery of the most abundant genetic cause of ALS, we have initiated a drug development approach to selectively destroy the ALS-causing product of the mutated gene…”