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New ALS discovery
12-13-2011, 11:54 AM
Post: #1
New ALS discovery
Northwestern researcher’s new find may result in a new practical treatment

Northwestern’s monumental team of researchers state they have identified the common cause behind Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) which could result in a new found treatment.

Researchers have pinpointed the breakdown of cellular recycling systems in the neurons of the spinal cord and brain among ALS patients that ends in the nervous system gradually losing its ability to carry brain signals to the muscular system in the body.

Dr. Teepu Siddique, neuroscientist at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and known for his innovative work on ALS for more than twenty-five years remarked that the importance was the finding of an underlying disease process for all kinds of ALS. This new discovery could also aide in establishing for other more common neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Siddique further mentions that without the signals being carried to the muscular system, patients are slowly being deprived of the ability to talk, swallow, move and breathe.

Dr. Siddique remarks "this is the first time we could connect [ALS] to a clear-cut biomedical mechanism,” developing the direction need to be taken extremely clear and sharp.

This discovery now allows researchers to test for drugs that would maintain that protein pathway or enhance it so it can function like it should be in a normal state.

This study is published in Monday’s issue of the research journal Nature.

The study’s paper lists twenty-three scientists who had aided in this new discovery. Among the scientists are Han-Xiang Deng and Wenjie Chen. The scientists are all neurological researchers with Northwestern. Dr. Chen had led the research team.

According to the ALS Association 5,600 Americans are diagnosed with ALS each year. Estimates indicate that 30,000 Americans may have this disease at any given time. About half of those with ALS die within three years time.

ALS also called Lou Gehrig’s disease was named after the New York Yankee baseball star Lou Gehrig, who at the age of 37 had lost his life to this disease.

ALS is still not totally understood however; through the years research like this one is brining a better understanding of the disease.

One FDA approved drug called Riluzole, moderately slows progression of ALS along with other drugs in clinical trials which show promise.
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01-25-2012, 02:26 AM
Post: #2
RE: New ALS discovery
This sounds like a huge breakthrough in ALS research. Hopefully they will be able to develop a drug that can keep the protein pathway operating correctly. ALS is an awful disease that strikes so fast. I look forward to the day that it will be treated and no one will have to suffer from it.
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RE: New ALS discovery
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