Gene Hunters Close in on Lou Gehrig's Disease
In the first genome-wide search for the genetic roots of the most common form of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Johns Hopkins scientists have newly identified 34 unique variations in the human genetic code among 276 unrelated subjects with ALS.
The 34 so-called single nucleotide polymorphisms, or SNPs, represent good candidate genes predisposing people to the non-inherited form of the fatal neurodegenerative disease.
"Although we haven't located the exact gene responsible for sporadic ALS, our results seriously narrow the search and bring us that much closer to finding what we need to start developing treatments for the disease," says Bryan J. Traynor, M.D., of the Department of Neurology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig