Medical Discovery Gives ALS Patients Ray Of Hope
By WISE Web News
Story Published: Mar 25, 2009 at 6:22 PM EDT
FORT WAYNE, Ind (Indiana's NewsCenter)-Most cases of Lou Gehrig's Disease are random, however in 10 percent of cases there is a family link.
Now experts say they've identified a gene that is linked to the inherited form of the disease.
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Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and King's College London studied the genes of a family from the Cape Verde Islands.
Four individuals in this family had ALS, or Lou Gehrig's Disease.
They were able to single out a specific gene present in all the family members with the disease. Studies of other families with multiple cases confirmed the gene may have played a role.
The research is still in the early stages, but experts are hopeful they can use this information to screen for and treat the disease.
ALS is a progressive disease that kills nerve cells in the brain, leading to muscles weakness, paralysis and death from respiratory failure.