A University of California, Irvine neurologist is part of a national group of scientists who have identified the active genes in sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a discovery that provides expanded opportunities for developing therapies to treat this chronic, incurable disease.
Led by researchers at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) in Phoenix, a comprehensive scan of the human genome has identified more than 50 genetic abnormalities in people with sporadic ALS, the most prevalent form of the disease. ALS also is known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Dr. Tahseen Mozaffar, a neurologist and director of the MDA ALS and Neuromuscular Diseases Center at the UC Irvine Medical Center, participated in the effort, which included a number of researchers from the Western ALS Group.
Study results appear online in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was supported by Augie’s Quest, a fast-track ALS research program, in conjunction with Muscular Dystrophy’s ALS Division.
Fitness pioneer Augie Nieto started Augie’s Quest after being diagnosed with ALS in March 2005. Nieto is co-founder and former president of Life Fitness, and chairman of Octane Fitness. He receives treatment at UC Irvine. Last year, Augie’s Quest donated $500,000 to UC Irvine’s MDA ALS and Neuromuscular Diseases Center. The grant is enhancing patient care services at the clinic and supports the activities of UC Irvine researchers who are seeking new therapies and a cure.
“This is a monumental step forward in the effort to find a cure for ALS,” Mozaffar said. “The genetics discovered in this study have uncovered a number of inviting targets for further study toward new drugs to treat this disease. And enthusiastic supporters like Augie Nieto and his wife Lynne are helping make this possible.”
The researchers also identified genes likely to play a role in cell function that controls nerve adhesion, offering a major new avenue for ALS research. The findings indicate these genes produce a sort of molecular glue that attaches motor neurons to muscle, according to Dietrich Stephan, TGen director of neurogenomics and the study’s principal investigator. It appears that in ALS the nerve is able to peel off the muscle and, when that happens repeatedly, the nerves die. TGen researchers identified the differences by screening DNA samples from more than 1,200 people with and 2,000 people without sporadic ALS.
ALS is a progressive neurological disorder that leads to paralysis and death, usually within three to five years. Sporadic ALS appears in 90 to 95 percent of all cases; the other 5 to 10 percent are the inherited form of ALS.
Mozaffar said that a mouse model of the inherited form of ALS is aiding research in that area. But no such model exists for sporadec ALS, making this finding critically important to advancing research in the most prevalent form of the disease.
Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood
23.02.2017 | American Chemical Society
New Mechanisms of Gene Inactivation may prevent Aging and Cancer
23.02.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
23.02.2017 | Life Sciences