Eliminating a protein enhanced cellular cleanup, saved nerve cells and prolonged survival in female ALS mice

posted on September 29, 2009 - 1:30pm
New research supports strategies that augment a natural process in the nervous system called autophagy – a cellular cleanup and garbage-disposal system — as a possible therapeutic avenue in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Autophagy (literally "self-eating") is activated when large amounts of debris and abnormal cellular components require destruction.

Dogs also can develop ALS, a fact that holds promise for human ALS research

posted on February 20, 2009 - 10:23am
Researchers at several institutions in the United States and Sweden have found that a mutation in the gene for superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1), known to cause ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) in 1 percent to 3 percent of human cases, also can cause an ALS-like disease in dogs. These dogs are the first spontaneously occurring animal model of ALS discovered, the researchers say in their paper,...

Can toxic genes be blocked to treat disease?

posted on January 1, 2007 - 3:02pm
QUEST Vol. 14, No. 1
Since the 1990s, gene therapy - the insertion of functional genes to compensate for nonfunctional ones - has been the goal of researchers working in several muscular dystrophies, spinal muscular atrophy, Friedreich's ataxia, metabolic muscle diseases and myotubular myopathy.