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Neurology - Neuromuscular

Houston, Texas

The Cullen Building at Baylor College of Medicine.
Department of Neurology
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Current ALS Research Projects

Molecular Mechanisms of ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis causes muscle weakness and is associated with damage to nerve cells in the body that are critical for sending messages from the brain to muscle. We believe that some cases of ALS may be caused by missing or extra pieces of genetic information in the chromosomes, which are structures in each cell of the body that package an individual’s genetic information, or genes. The goal of this research effort is to determine the specific genes involved in some of the rare forms of ALS and how DNA rearrangements may cause ALS.

Recruiting – Persons with ALS who would like to donate a blood sample for this study.

Genetic Mutations in ALS

Although mutations in several genes have been identified to cause ALS, the direct link between mutant proteins and their pathological pathways is largely unknown. We have established a fly model for understanding the mechanisms of ALS and finding potential targets for subsequent preclinical trials. Currently we are investigating how the signaling of a particular gene contributes to the pathogenesis of sporadic or other familial forms of ALS.

Recruiting – Persons with ALS who would like to donate a blood sample for this study.

ALS DNA Banking Project

The overall goal of this project is to establish a national bank of biological material (such as DNA, the building blocks of genes) and data from individuals with ALS and control subjects. The bank is called the NINDS Human Genetics Repository and is located at the Coriell Institute for Medical Research in Camden, NJ. The biological material and data that is collected from patients is being made available to researchers trying to learn more about the cause of these diseases. To study possible causes of ALS in a person's genetic material, researchers need blood samples and some basic health-related medical and family history information from patients and unaffected healthy individuals who are also called controls. This research study is sponsored by National Institutes of Health. Multiple patients and family members from the ALS Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine have contributed blood samples to this bank.

Recruiting – Completed.

For more information, please contact Claire MacAdam at 713-798-5694.

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