Navigation Links
Researchers Say They've Found Common Cause of All Types of ALS

SUNDAY, Aug. 21 (HealthDay News) -- The apparent discovery of a common cause of all forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) could give a boost to efforts to find a treatment for the fatal neurodegenerative disease, a new study contends.

Scientists have long struggled to identify the underlying disease process of ALS (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and weren't even sure that a common disease process was associated with all forms of ALS.

In this new study, Northwestern University researchers said they found that the basis of ALS is a malfunctioning protein recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord. Efficient recycling of the protein building blocks in the neurons are critical for optimal functioning of the neurons. They become severely damaged when they can't repair or maintain themselves.

This problem occurs in all three types of ALS: hereditary, sporadic and ALS that targets the brain, the researchers said.

The discovery, published Aug. 21 in the journal Nature, shows that all forms of ALS share an underlying cause and offers a common target for drug therapy, according to the researchers.

"This opens up a whole new field for finding an effective treatment for ALS," study senior author Dr. Teepu Siddique, of the Davee Department of Neurology and Clinical Neurosciences at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "We can now test for drugs that would regulate this protein pathway or optimize it, so it functions as it should in a normal state."

This finding about the breakdown of protein recycling in ALS may also prove useful in the study of other neurodegenerative diseases, specifically Alzheimer's and other dementias, the Northwestern researchers said.

ALS afflicts an estimated 350,000 people around the world. About 50 percent of patients die within three years of the first symptoms. They progressively lose muscle strength until they're paralyzed and can't move, speak, swallow and breathe, the researchers said.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more about ALS.

-- Robert Preidt

SOURCE: Northwestern University, news release, Aug. 21, 2011

Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. UCSD researchers alarmed at rise in hookah use among California youth
2. Researchers building new sensor that could stop falls by elderly, before they happen
3. AIDS researchers isolate new potent and broadly effective antibodies against HIV
4. Pitt cancer researchers find key oncoprotein in Merkel cell carcinoma
5. Researchers create new experimental vaccine against chikungunya virus
6. USF researchers get $2.6 million NIH grant to investigate new post-stroke therapy
7. Childrens National collaborates with NIH researchers to identify gene variant in Proteus syndrome
8. Penn researchers describe key molecule that keeps immune cell development on track
9. Researchers find way to help donor adult blood stem cells overcome transplant rejection
10. UGA researchers use gold nanoparticles to diagnose flu in minutes
11. Researchers develop and test new molecule as a delivery vehicle to image and kill brain tumors
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Researchers Say They've Found Common Cause of All Types of ALS
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... On June 10-11, 2016, A Forever Recovery, a ... and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle Creek, MI, where the rehabilitation facility is ... to some of the world’s leading providers of cereal and other breakfast foods. Its ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan to not ... comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately achieving a ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, FCPX users can easily customize each ... Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms over 1,300 hand-drawn pictures into hand ... select a ProHand generator and drag it above media or text in the Final ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary ... Work award to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. ... Maryland Workplace Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... June 19, 2016 is World Sickle Cell ... pain and the benefits of holistic treatments, Serenity Recovery Center of Marne, ... Cell Disease. , Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) is a disorder of the red blood ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) announced that it ... (procalcitonin) assay as a dedicated testing solution for people ... Roche is the first IVD company in the U.S ... assessment and management. PCT is a sepsis-specific ... blood can aid clinicians in assessing the risk of ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , , , WHEN: ... , , , , LOCATION: , , , Online, with ... , EXPERT PANELISTS:  , , , Frost & Sullivan,s Global Vice ... Senior Industry Analyst, Divyaa Ravishankar and Unmesh Lal, Program Manager , ... industry is witnessing an exceptional era. Several new demand spaces, such ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 2016 The vast majority of dialysis patients ... Treatments are usually 3 times a week, with treatment ... travel time, equipment preparation and wait time.  This regimen ... for patients who are elderly and frail.  Many elderly ... rehabilitation centers for some duration of time. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: