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Novel Exome Screen Points to Tubulin as ALS Gene
October 25, 2014

A new kind of genetic analysis has identified a gene that likely contributes to risk for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. As reported in the October 22 Neuron, geneticists scanning the exomes of ALS cases and controls found that people with the disease were far more likely to contain variants...

Enzyme Structure Linked to ALS Severity
October 24, 2014

Dozens of mutations in the gene for superoxide dismutase 1 can cause amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and they all do so by making the normally rigid enzyme floppy and aggregation-prone, according to a paper in the October 14 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online. By examining...

A Kinder Pathogen? Viral Protein Preserves Neurons in Parkinson’s Model
October 24, 2014

Could infectious agents hold the key to treating neurodegenerative disease? The idea may not be as crazy as it sounds. Some neuropathogens have evolved ways to turn off cell death mechanisms to keep their hosts alive. The same approach might rescue sick neurons in diseased brains, according...

SOD1 Aggregation Dynamics Correlate with ALS Clinical Phenotypes
October 17, 2014
Over 100 mutations in the SOD1 protein have been linked to ALS, but how all these distinct mutations lead to the same disease is still a matter of debate. A new study published October 14 in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences applied sophisticated biophysical methods to examine how mutations in the SOD1 protein affect protein stability and aggregation dynamics...

More Data, More Progress: ALS Researchers Debut Shared Database
October 17, 2014
Thanks to an enormous effort to collect and comingle data from 17 ALS clinical studies, researchers can now access thousands of patient records to understand the disease’s natural progression, hunt for biomarkers, and plan better therapeutic trials. Project organizers from the nonprofit Prize4Life in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Neurological Clinical Research Institute at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, describe the Pooled Resource Open-Access ALS Clinical Trials database (PRO-ACT) in the October 8 Neurology online...

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