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.
Barium ruthenate: A high-yield, easy-to-handle perovskite catalyst for the oxidation of sulfides
16.07.2018 | Tokyo Institute of Technology
The secret sulfate code that lets the bad Tau in
16.07.2018 | American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.07.2018 | Life Sciences
16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences