Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Phase 3 Trial of Ceftriaxone in ALS Stopped

On Aug. 8, 2012, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) reported that it has stopped a phase 3 clinical trial of the antibiotic ceftriaxone in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) because the study was "unlikely to reach the predetermined efficacy criteria."

MDA Launches 'Bridge-to-Industry' Training Program

MDA launched its innovative Bridge-to-Industry (B2I) program with a $180,000 grant over three years to postdoctoral fellow Archi Joardar at The University of Arizona in Tucson, to develop two promising drug candidates for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

MDA’s Bridge-to-Industry, or B2I, is a pilot project that trains promising researchers in translational research by providing experience both in academia and the biopharmaceutical industry.    

ALS — Marc Weisskopf, Sc.D., Ph.D.

MDA awarded a research grant totaling $301,614 over three years to Marc Weisskopf, associate professor of environmental and occupational epidemiology in the departments of environmental health and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. The funds will help support Weisskopf’s search for nongenetic risk factors for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ALS — Christine Vande Velde, Ph.D.

MDA awarded a research grant totaling $358,242 over three years to Christine Vande Velde, research assistant professor in the department of medicine at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center in Montreal, Quebec (Canada). The funds will help support Vande Velde’s study of the role of TDP43 and the stress granule mechanism in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

Another Gene Linked to Familial ALS

A genetic mutation in the gene for a protein called profilin 1 (PFN1) has been identified as a cause of familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an MDA-supported team of researchers has reported.

Only about 5 percent of ALS is familial (where there is a history of ALS in more than one family member) with the other 95 percent occurring sporadically (without any family history of the disease).

ALS — Alex Parker, Ph.D.

MDA awarded a research grant totaling $231,300 over three years to Alex Parker, assistant professor in the department of pathology and cellular biology at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Center in Montreal, Quebec (Canada). The funds will help support Parker's study of cellular stress response in neurodegeneration associated with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

CMT/FA — Jeffrey Milbrandt, M.D., Ph.D.

MDA awarded a research grant totaling $357,366 over three years to Jeffrey Milbrandt, professor and head of the department of genetics, and professor of pathology & immunology, medicine and neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Disruption of ‘Transporter’ Protein May Underlie Neurodegeneration

Disruption of a “transporter” protein called MCT1 (also SL16A1) leads to the degeneration of muscle-controlling nerve cells (motor neurons) in animal and cell culture models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), an MDA-supported team of researchers has reported.

In addition, the team found that MCT1 activity is reduced in people with ALS and in mouse models of the disease. 

Study Finds ‘Less Clear’ Distinction Between Sporadic and Familial ALS

In a more than 20-year study of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a research team found that 11 percent of people with a diagnosis of sporadic ALS had mutations in genes associated with the familial form of the disease.

ALS — Adrian Israelson, Ph.D.

Update (April 1, 2015): Adrian Israelson is now at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beer Sheva, Israel.

Pages