Sheila Essey Award recipient gives lecture
The special session was dedicated to ALS research. It was held in Vancouver, Canada, last month, when Al-Chalabi received the award. The award is worth $50,000 and honors significant research contributions in finding the cause, prevention and cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative disease, damages the nerve cells based in the spinal cord and brain of a patient. People who have ALS gradually lose the power to move and control their muscles, causing paralysis and death just a few years after the initial diagnosis. Scientists have not yet discovered why veterans are two times more likely to have ALS than other citizens, and there is still no cure for the disease.
Al-Chalabi co-discovered a genetic connection between frontotemporal dementia and ALS. This led to scientists discovering the C9orf72 gene, which is the gene that is common between the two illnesses.
“ALS genetics is advancing rapidly, and understanding this will allow us to develop new therapies tailored to the individual genes,” Al-Chalabi said.
Organizations in this story
ALS Association 1275 K Street Northwest Washington, DC - 20005