Genetics and ALS: Cause for Optimism
While drug development has done little to slow the devastating symptoms of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), there is some good news in the fact that scientists have identified some 100 related genes and believe that genetic research offers the best hope for treatments.
The Promise and the Reality of Stem-Cell Therapies for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Jonathan D. Glass, M.D., is leading a clinical trial testing the safety of using adult stem cells to treat patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a neurodegenerative disease that remains untreatable. This trial, along with others like it, is just the beginning of a time-intensive process necessary to determine whether the benefits of stem-cell treatments—if there prove to be any—outweigh the risks. See also Commentary on this article, by Vassilis E. Koliatsos, M.D., and Leyan Xu, M.D., Ph.D.