New ALS therapy in clinical trials

Robert Bucelli, MD, PhD, measures Gregory Easter's neuromuscular function. Easter, who has an inherited form of amytrophic lateral sclerosis, a fatal neuromuscular disease, is taking part in a clinical trial to evaluate an experimental drug. New research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis shows the drug extends survival and reverses some neuromuscular damage in mice and rats and may help people whose disease is caused by mutations in the gene SOD1.
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About 20,000 people in the United States are living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The invariably fatal disease kills the nerve cells that control walking, eating and breathing. Few people survive more than three years after diagnosis.