Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, and retinitis pigmentosa all have different manifestations and affect different body functions, but they are all connected by one mechanism: neurodegeneration.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neuromuscular disease in which patients gradually become paralyzed due to loss of motor function. Many genetically inheritable mutations have been linked to ALS; however, the majority of ALS patients are considered sporadic.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a late-onset neuromuscular disease with no cure and limited treatment options. Patients experience a gradual paralysis leading to death from respiratory complications on average only 2-5 years after diagnosis.
May is #ALSAwarenessMonth and Waisman investigator Su-Chun Zhang, MD, PhD, uses stem cells to uncover the cause of ALS with the hope of developing treatments and therapies.
May is ALS awareness month and Waisman Center investigator Su-Chun Zhang, MD, PhD, uses stem cells from ALS patients to uncover the cause of ALS and screen drugs to treat the disease. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis …
This story starts in 1955, upon the death of Albert Einstein, when the pathologist charged with performing the famous scientist’s autopsy stole his brain. Fast forward to the 1980s when a University of California, Berkeley scientist was studying parts of the stolen goods involved in complex thinking and discovered that the father of relativity had more of certain types of cells, called astrocytes, than other human brains studied.
If you hadn’t heard of ALS before this summer, you’re not alone. If you haven’t heard of it by now, you must be living under a rock. Not only did the ubiquitous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge raise about $100 million from late July to late August, it boosted awareness of ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
By studying nerve cells that originated in patients with a severe neurological disease, a University of Wisconsin-Madison researcher has pinpointed an error in protein formation that could be the root of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
“The novelty is that this is a combined cell and gene therapy approach,” Suzuki explains, noting that the bone marrow stem cells on their own had a modest effect, possibly by releasing their own protective factors. “But only when we engineered the cells to release GDNF did we see a significant improvement. The cells turned out to be quite an important component. It’s this combination of cells and drug delivery that seems to be so effective.”
With the help of a $7.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), a team of University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers will explore the potential of stem cells and natural growth factors to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.