Dr. Steven Finkbeiner of the Gladstone Institutes recently announced a research partnership with Eli Lilly and Company to move his ALS research forward. Dr. Finkbeiner is a member of California-based Neuro Collaborative, an ALS Association-funded initiative focused on discovering new ALS therapeutics and moving them into clinical trials. This multi-year, milestone-driven project is using innovative robotic microscope technology to focus on better understanding neurodegenerative diseases, with a large focus on ALS.
Your life can change in an instant. Carmen Berkley’s life did in 2015. She is one of the 6,000 people diagnosed with ALS each year. In the video below, Carmen shares with us what a visit to an ALS clinic is like for someone living with the disease.
Before diagnosis, Carmen kept busy as a unit secretary on the oncology floor at Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and took care of her elderly father. Now, her husband Charles and two daughters, Jamia and Camille, take care of her.
People with ALS come first in everything we do. The ALS Association is dedicated to providing those fighting ALS, their families, and friends with the critical information, support, and resources necessary to live a full life and better meet daily challenges.
Our chapters assist people living with ALS and their families in our community through our equipment loan closets, support groups, augmentative communication and assistive technology program, caregiver support, and education and outreach. We also collaborate with the best ALS physicians and clinics in our service area to help ensure that people living with ALS have access to specialized care, based on best practices.
Dr. Don Cleveland of University of California, San Diego received the 2018 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, an eminent honor to our long-time-funded ALS researcher. He received a $3 million prize, the largest individual monetary prize in science, during “The Oscars of Science” gala in Silicon Valley hosted by Morgan Freeman and aired on the National Geographic channel. He will use the Prize to continue his vital ALS research projects. The Prize was founded in 2013 and honors “transformative advances towards understanding living systems and extending human life,” according to officials. Notable individuals sponsor the Prize, including Priscilla and Mark Zuckerberg, Sergey Bin, Pony Ma, Yuri and Julia Milner, and Anne Wojcicki.
When first diagnosed with ALS, one of the first questions people ask is whether it is OK to continue exercising. A recently completed ALS Association funded study by Dr. Nicholas Maragakis of Johns Hopkins University and team set out to help answer this common question by exploring the possible benefits of exercise for people living with ALS. They found that stretching, resistance, and endurance exercise are all safe and tolerable to perform with a specified program. Exercise did not worsen outcomes related to ALS disease. The article was published in journal Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Frontotemporal Degeneration.
This year’s annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Meeting in Washington, D.C., was a huge gathering of over 30,000 attendees from 80 countries all dedicated to advancing neuroscience. The ALS Association was one of 534 exhibitors and promoted our global TREAT ALS research program. We met people and answer their questions about ALS. Multiple presentation sessions and posters were dedicated to ALS and many of our funded researchers attended to present and discuss their latest findings. Here are some highlights of the many top ALS scientists that we fund who generously shared with us the progress they have recently made.
Dr. Pierre Drapeau (pictured above) and team of Université de Montréal recently published an important paper in JCI Insight showing how basic animal models are used to identify ALS potential therapeutics. They found that pimozide, a neuroleptic drug, was the most potent in impacting animal model mobility. A short clinical trial was then conducted in sporadic ALS patients, which demonstrated that the drug hit its target and safe at a specific dose. Evidence from these studies paved the way for the current randomized pimozide phase II clinical trial that began enrollment this month in Canada. We are proud to support these studies through the Lawrence and Isabel Barnett Drug Development Program, and your donations.