What Stage of Research Is ALS In?

Question by Rose: What Stage of Research is ALS in?
I’m trying to learn about ALS. I know there’s no cure, and the must be dozens of research labs out there trying to find one. How far they to finding a cure, what stage of the research process are they at right now, and what have they found out already

Best answer:

Answer by norton g
Mariah, Progress in ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerodid) is being made though it’s hard to “stage” where research is currently. At Northwestern Medical Center this past year, 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. In this new study, Northwestern researchers said they found that the basis of ALS is a malfunctioning protein recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord. Efficient recycling of the protein building blocks in the neurons are critical for optimal functioning of the neurons. They become severely damaged when they can’t repair or maintain themselves. This problem occurs in all three types of ALS: hereditary, sporadic and ALS that targets the brain, the researchers said. The discovery, published 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.

Phase 2 human clinical trial: Research fellow James Berry at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston was awarded $ 180,000. Berry is a member of the study team currently planning a phase 2 clinical trial in people with familial ALS of the experimental drug ISIS-SOD1-Rx, made by Isis Pharmaceuticals of Carlsbad, Calif. The trial is planned as a follow-on study to a current phase 1 trial of the drug. Berry’s work could lead to a phase 3 clinical trial of ISIS-SOD1-Rx in people with familial ALS.

So far, there is no cure for ALS. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and maintaining an optimal quality of life. Treatment is based on individual therapy and the continual adaptation of medications. Riluzole (Rilutek®) is one of the few drugs so far proven to be effective against ALS and may prevent progression and prolong life for a few months or so. Riluzole decreases the release of glutamate.

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