75 Years Ago: Lou Gehrig Diagnosed with Disease that Now Bears His Name

Following a difficult start to the 1939 baseball season, Lou Gehrig visited the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota in June of that year. Doctors there felt certain that the Yankees captain and future Hall of Famer was struggling due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The diagnosis was confirmed on June 19, his 36th birthday. He would never play baseball again.

Mayo Clinic Researchers Place ALS Hope in Stem Cells

The trial is a safety study to determine if it’s safe to give ALS patients injections of stem cells grown from samples of their own fat tissue.

BrainStorm and Mass General Sign Definitive Agreement for ALS Clinical Trial

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics, a leading developer of adult stem cell technologies for neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that it has signed a definitive agreement with the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, MA to conduct a Phase II clinical trial of NurOwn™ in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Lou Gehrig’s Disease: From Patient Stem Cells to Potential Treatment Strategy in One Study

“In these studies, we turned skin cells of patients who have ALS into motor neurons that retained the genetic defects of the disease,” Baloh said. “We focused on a gene, C9ORF72, that two years ago was found to be the most common cause of familial ALS and frontotemporal lobar degeneration, and even causes some cases of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. What we needed to know, however, was how the defect triggered the disease so we could find a way to treat it.”

2 New Genes Linked to ALS and Related Disorders

Recognition that the mutations adversely impact regulation of RNA could lead to targeted therapy to correct the problem. The mutation’s location in the prion-like domain might also prove significant. Although the mutations in hnRNPA2B1 or hnRNPA1 appear to be rare, hundreds of other RNA-binding proteins have prion-like domains. Taylor said patients with unexplained neurodegenerative diseases may have mutations in these proteins.

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.

Medical Edge: Researching the ALS Gene

Mayo Clinic is making strides in learning more about two deadly brain diseases, Lou Gehrig’s disease, known as ALS and a type of dementia.

ALS Awareness Month: Day 15

What are other diseases or conditions that mimic ALS?

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clues uncovered by gene study

Researchers are hopeful after discovering a genetic mutation they think is responsible for the debilitating neurological disorder also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). And they hope the findings might lead to a cure for another dreaded brain disease – dementia.

Scientists Discover Key Gene Mutation Behind Lou Gehrig’s Disease

“Although clinically they have always been described as two separate diseases, they are overlapping. We now believe that ALS and FTD are actually different clinical manifestations of the same disease.”