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ALS Therapy Development Institute Partners with Clinical Centers to Establish Pathological Mechanisms of Lou Gehrig's Disease
Date:8/19/2008

Donated blood and tissue samples to be used to identify molecular signature of motor neuron disease

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., Aug. 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) announced today the acceleration of an ALS biomarker effort using blood samples collected through an expanded network of clinical partnerships. These ongoing projects are part of the Institute's extensive effort to indentify the altered expression of genes and proteins, at the onset of, and throughout the progression of the fatal neurodegenerative disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease). The knowledge generated through this effort will be crucial to the identification of potential biomarkers which could be used for diagnosis and monitoring of disease progression, and will be useful for researchers worldwide in the effort to develop truly effective therapeutics. To facilitate additional ALS patient participation, ALS TDI has recently executed or submitted protocols to several additional hospitals and clinics for the collection of additional blood samples, as well as muscle and adipose tissue. The program is designed to include all ALS patients, regardless of whether they have a sporadic or inherited form of the disease.

"These types of ongoing projects, made possible only through collaborations with our clinical partners, are critical to determining the molecular signatures of this extremely complicated disease. The efforts of our clinical partners to carefully collect these biological samples, as well as the relevant clinical information from each patient, is central for the success of this project," said Steve Perrin, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of ALS TDI.

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease resulting in progressive paralysis and is considered fatal. The disease typically strikes without an identifiable cause, indiscriminately affecting a new family every 90 minutes in the U.S. That i
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SOURCE ALS Therapy Development Institute
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