MDA/ALS Newsmagazine Vol. 15, No. 3

May-June 2010

Cover Story

A cowboy shows city slickers how to ride and leads pack trips into the wilderness. A church volunteer reaches out to those newly diagnosed with ALS. A young father pursues his passion to write while thinking up creative ways to adapt to his condition. A college professor studies the best ways to...

Features

Motor neurons in the spinal cord, which are known as “lower” motor neurons, have long axons (fibers) through which they send signals to muscle fibers in the limbs, trunk, face and other parts of the body. Motor neurons in the brain, known as “upper” motor neurons, send their signals to lower mot...
An MDA-supported, 10-center trial of 108 people with ALS who took the oral medication lithium carbonate — some in conjunction with the ALS drug riluzole — has found the drug does not slow ALS progression or improve survival time. The study has also shown that lithium, which is used to treat bipolar...
Although familial, or inherited, ALS (FALS) and the sporadic (uninherited) form of the disease demonstrate similar progression patterns after symptoms appear, the causes for sporadic ALS remain elusive, while a number of genetic mutations that cause FALS have been — and continue to be — uncovered. S...
How many times in your journey with ALS have you heard someone say, “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help?” “Thanks, I will,” is usually the response, but then no one follows up. Family and friends may be sincere and well-meaning in their offers of help, but they don’t realize how hard i...
Scott LeDoux said he got out of professional boxing at age 34 because he was accruing “too many frequent flier miles.” Translated from the “Fighting Frenchman’s” wry humor, that means he was getting lifted airborne by his opponents’ uppercuts with unacceptable regularity. Twice a contender for the w...
Velma Yannayon, of Eastanollee, Ga., made soup for supper and had just sat down to eat when she felt herself grow faint. She put her hands on the TV tray to steady herself, and that’s the last thing she remembers. Her husband Theodore, who has ALS, watched her topple over, knocking her soup bowl to...
The MDA ALS Clinical Research Network, a nationwide consortium of MDA/ALS centers, is up and running, helping streamline the search for treatments for ALS. The network provides an “unprecedented” platform for launching new ALS studies, said Robert Miller, neurologist and co-director of the MDA/ALS C...

Research Roundup

IMMUNE SYSTEM MODULATOR HERALDS NEW STRATEGY IN ALS RESEARCH Blocking a key molecular pathway that the body uses to amplify an immune response has been found to delay disease onset and extend survival in mice with a disease that mimics human ALS, say researchers at the MDA-supported ALS Therapy...
Cytokinetics seeks participants for CK-2017357 study Cytokinetics, a South San Francisco biotechnology company, is seeking participants with ALS for a trial of its experimental compound CK-2017357. CK-2017357 increases the senstivity of muscle fibers to calcium, resulting in a potential increase in...

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