Current Approach To Drug Discovery For Lou Gehrig's Disease To Be Re-Examined

Armen Hareyan's picture

Lou Gehrig's Disease

Penn researchers find two forms of the Lou Gehrig's disease biochemically different.


Most research on Lou Gehrig's disease therapeutics has been based on the assumption that its two forms (sporadic and hereditary) are similar in their underlying cause. Now, researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine have found an absolute biochemical distinction between these two disease variants, suggesting that current approaches to drug discovery should be re-examined.

About 5 percent of all cases of Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyothrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are passed from generation to generation. The most common genetic variant in this familial form is caused by a mutation in the SOD-1 gene. The researchers looked at a large set of ALS patients, including hereditary cases, both with and without the SOD-1 mutation.

The present study