Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

'New and Important Player' Advances Understanding of ALS

A population of stem cells called NG2+ cells — which mature into central nervous system support cells called oligodendrocytes — exhibit significant developmental differences in healthy mice compared to mice with a disease resembling human ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease).

What's a 'Meaningful' Change for Those with ALS?

What's a meaningful change for someone with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or his or her caregiver? A new, MDA-supported study seeks to answer that question.

It's believed that physical or psychosocial changes associated with a new treatment that may be "statistically significant" when clinical trial results are analyzed may not be the same as changes that people with ALS and their caregivers consider meaningful.

‘Simple Pleasures’ Essay by Writer with ALS Published in NYT

Neil Selinger, 57, of Larchmont, N.Y., was a high-powered attorney working on high-profile, high-dollar cases when he decided to set it all aside in 2007 to pursue volunteering and writing. 

In 2009, his life underwent yet another change when he received a diagnosis of ALS. The disease hasn’t stopped Selinger’s writing, but it has added a new slant to his point of view.

Does Spirituality Influence Acceptance of Disability?

With approximately 54 million Americans living with disabilities, exploring and understanding factors that might facilitate or hinder acceptance of one’s disability may be an important area of research.

But what exactly is the relationship between religious/spiritual attitudes and acceptance or lack of acceptance of disability for people with neuromuscular disorders?

Emotional Expression Medication Approved for Use in ALS

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Nuedexta for "pseudobulbar affect" (PBA), a neurologic condition that sometimes occurs in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and involves episodes of involuntary emotional expression out of proportion to or distinct from the person's actual emotional state. The approval was announced by Nuedexta's developer, Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Oct. 29, 2010.

ALS Stem Cell Trial is Moving Forward

The Maryland biotherapeutics company Neuralstem will move its clinical trial of neural stem cells in people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) into its next stage, following a thumbs-up from the trial's safety monitoring board, the company announced Oct. 18, 2010. (See Neuralstem Updates ALS Clinial Trial Progress.)

National ALS Registry Now Open

After two years of laying the groundwork, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has opened its National ALS Registry to collect information from people living with ALS.

Scientists at the ATSDR, which is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, hope registry data will provide insight into the causes of, and potential treatments for, ALS.

Misfolded SOD1 Found in Sporadic ALS Samples

A new study suggests misfolding of the SOD1 protein may be a common contributor not only to familial (inherited) amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) caused by mutations in the SOD1 gene but to the more common sporadic (noninherited) form of the disease as well.

ALS TDI Conference Summarizes ALS Research Progress

Themes discussed throughout the research symposium included ALS genetics, clinical trials, the role of the immune system in disease onset and progression, biomarkers, and the use of stem cells in ALS therapeutics.

Diaphragm Pacing System Awaiting FDA Approval for ALS

The Synapse Biomedical NeuRx Diaphragm Pacing System (DPS), a device that stimulates the respiratory diaphragm with electrical signals, has received Humanitarian Use Device designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), allowing it to be used by people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) who have a “stimulatable” diaphragm and are experiencing chronic breathing problems.