Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Whoa

Northwestern researchers report breakthrough in ALS research:
The apparent discovery of a common cause of all forms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — the fatal disease also known as Lou Gehrig's disease — could give a boost to efforts to find a treatment for the fatal neurodegenerative disease, a new study by Northwestern University researchers contends.

Scientists have long struggled to identify the underlying disease process of ALS and weren't even sure that a common disease process was associated with all forms of ALS.

In this new study, Northwestern researchers said they found that the basis of ALS [in all three types of ALS: hereditary, sporadic and ALS that targets the brain] is a malfunctioning protein recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord.

...The discovery, published Aug. 21 in the journal Nature, shows that all forms of ALS share an underlying cause and offers a common target for drug therapy, according to the researchers.
Amazing news, that.

[H/T to @PeterDaou.]