Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Proteases help nerve cells to navigate

Our ability to move relies on the correct formation of connections between different nerve cells and between nerve and muscle cells. Growing axons of nerve cells are guided to their targets by signposts expressed on the surface ...

Oct 22, 2014
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How rabies "hijacks" neurons to attack the brain

Rabies causes acute inflammation of the brain, producing psychosis and violent aggression. The virus, which paralyzes the body's internal organs, is always deadly for those unable to obtain vaccines in time. Some 55,000 people ...

Oct 06, 2014
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First mouse model for ALS dementia

The first animal model for ALS dementia, a form of ALS that also damages the brain, has been developed by Northwestern Medicine scientists. The advance will allow researchers to directly see the brains of living mice, under ...

Sep 24, 2014
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ALS Ice Bucket Challenge arrives in North Korea

It's pretty hard to find a novel way to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge by now, but two-time Grammy-winning rapper Pras Michel, a founding member of the Fugees, has done it—getting his dousing in the center of North Korea's ...

Aug 31, 2014
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Toxic proteins damage nerve cells

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biology of Ageing in Cologne and University College London have now unearthed the way in which a specific genetic mutation leads to neuronal damage in two serious afflictions. In ...

Aug 12, 2014
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Researchers find new mechanism for neurodegeneration

A research team led by Jackson Laboratory Professor and Howard Hughes Investigator Susan Ackerman, Ph.D., have pinpointed a surprising mechanism behind neurodegeneration in mice, one that involves a defect in a key component ...

Jul 24, 2014
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease in American English and Motor Neurone Disease in British English, is a form of Motor Neuron Disease caused by the degeneration of upper and lower neurons, located in the ventral horn of the spinal cord and the cortical neurons that provide their efferent input. The condition is often called Lou Gehrig's disease in North America, after the New York Yankees baseball player who was diagnosed with the disease in 1939. The disorder is characterized by rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and fasciculations, spasticity, dysarthria, dysphagia, and respiratory compromise. Sensory function generally is spared, as is autonomic and oculomotor activity. ALS is a progressive, fatal, neurodegenerative disease with most affected patients dying of respiratory compromise and pneumonia after 2 to 3 years; although some perish within a year from the onset of symptoms, and occasional individuals have a more indolent course and survive for many years.

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