Quest Magazine

ALS Research Briefs

TDP43 has unexpectedly extensive role

Scientists have found that the protein TDP43 normally influences the synthesis of more than 1,500 other proteins, including itself. Mutations in the gene for TDP43 are a known cause of ALS, and TDP43 is depleted in the nucleus and enriched in the cytoplasm (main cell compartment) in ALS-affected nerve cells, even when no TDP43 mutations exist. Understanding TDP43's many functions is likely to improve understanding of ALS.

For more, see:

FCC Surveying People with Disabilities about Calling 911

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is conducting an online national survey of individuals with disabilities to determine the most effective and efficient methods to access emergency services.

According to the FCC, a new emergency-access system is being developed that will allow people to reach 911 not only by using voice telephones, but text, video and other devices, some of which use the Internet.

MDA Awards Grant to Test Heat Shock Protein in ALS Mice

UPDATE (April 9, 2012): MDA and ALS Biopharma agreed to terminate this project in April 2012, when ALS Biopharma determined that it was unable to manufacture its HSP70-based compound in a pure enough form to meet study standards.  The ability to reliably produce the compound in sufficient quantity and quality for testing purposes was one of a number of milestones that had to be met in order for the project to receive full funding.

MDA Conference Brings Together Researchers, Clinicians, Industry

Moving therapeutic strategies from the laboratory to clinical trials and ultimately to the market as treatments was the theme of the MDA National Scientific Conference held March 13-16, 2011, in Las Vegas.

Some 300 people attended the conference, the first in a planned series of such MDA-sponsored meetings that will emphasize new research and current medical care. The majority of presenters and many of the audience members were current or former MDA research grantees or physicians at MDA-supported clinics.

'Antisense' Ameliorates SMA Symptoms in Mice

A team of research scientists has found that mice with a disease resembling a severe form of spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) that were treated with a gene-modifying molecule produced more of a needed protein throughout their spinal cords; developed bigger, stronger muscles; and survived longer than expected. 

IL10 Protein May Influence DMD Severity

A team of researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) has demonstrated that the naturally occurring protein interleukin 10 (IL10) may help reduce harmful inflammation and promote muscle regeneration in people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), and potentially those with other forms of muscular dystrophy.

MDA supported James Tidball, director of the Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Research Center at UCLA, for this work.

Boy with DMD 'Outswims' Olympian Michael Phelps

Logan Mitzel has one word for his swim with Olympic champion Michael Phelps: “awesome.”

The 11-year-old from Aurora, Ill., who has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) and relies on a manual wheelchair for mobility, loves to swim so much that in 2010 he completed a streak of swimming every day for 77 consecutive days.

Reactivated Virus May Contribute to ALS

New research suggests that the DNA of a normally dormant virus may be playing a role in causing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

If the findings are confirmed, they could ultimately have implications for treatment of the disease.

About the HERV-K virus

'Cloud-Enhanced' Accessibility: Competition Seeks Visionaries

The Federal Communications Commission wants to know: What’s your vision for using “cloud computing” to create new opportunities for people with disabilities?

The FCC is co-sponsoring the competition “Lifted by the Cloud: Visions of Cloud-Enhanced Accessibility,” and asking participants to create short multimedia presentations showing “what could be possible using the computing and communication power now available via the Internet.”

ALS Research Briefs

Loss of TDP43's normal function could be ALS contributor