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Breakthrough in Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Published: April 3, 2009

Discovery of a new gene mutation called ALS6 may help shed light on why amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) develops, and where to focus efforts on creating new treatments and finding a cure. 

The finding provides important clues to inherited forms of the degenerative disease (10 percent of all cases), as well as sporadic ALS, which occurs in individuals with no family history of the disease and is responsible for 90 percent of diagnosed cases.

ALS is sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the baseball player who was affected by it. Symptoms progress as certain nerve cells that control muscles become damaged and later die. The prescription drug Rilutek (riluzole) helps protect nerve cells to relieve symptoms and preserve function.

For more information about The ALS Association, visit alsa.org.

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  • Mona

    I have a sister with ALS and it is a real struggle. What to do, what not to do. It is a terrible disease. I do hope and pray that a cure will be soon. The ALS foundation is a great help. The staff there have been great to work with.