life sciences

New biomarker identified for ALS

Posted 8/13/12

BOSTON – A new biomarker in the blood has been identified that signals the earliest stages of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), according an article published on Aug. 6 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

The findings suggest that the immune system plays an important role in the development of ALS, and may provide doctors with a means of monitoring the progression of the disease through a simple blood test.

“This new biomarker provides us with a tool for better understanding the beginning stages of ALS, and may allow us to track the disease with a simple blood test,” said Lucie Bruijn, of the ALS Association, the only national nonprofit organization fighting ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

The discovery was made by researchers at Harvard Medical School, Tufts Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital. The work was funded in part by the ALS Association.

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. People stricken with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. There is no cure and no life-prolonging treatments for the disease.

Currently, the only way to track the progression of ALS is through clinical measurements, such as muscle strength, which fluctuate over the short term, leading to the need for long-term clinical trials with large numbers of patients.

An objective biomarker that changes with the disease and in response to therapy offers the possibility of shorter and smaller trials, leading to faster discovery of new therapies.

Calendar
PBN Hosted
Events

Two Great Programs...One Great Event. PBN's Annual Celebration of Growth and Innovation is now underway. 2014 applications are now available. Deadline August 1st.
  • Healthiest Employers
    Celebrate with the Healthiest Employers in RI on August 14th at the Providence M ...
  • 40 Under Forty
    Thank you to our sponsors and to all those who attended the 10th Anniversary of ...
Advertisement
Purchase Data
Book of Lists
Lists
Book of Lists cover
PBN's annual Book of Lists has been an essential resource for the local business community for almost 30 years. The Book of Lists features a wealth of company rankings from a variety of fields and industries, including banking, health care, real estate, law, hospitality, education, not-for-profits, technology and many more.
Data icons
Data can be purchased as single lists, in either Excel or PDF format; the entire database of the published book, in Excel format; or a printed copy of the Book of Lists.
  • Purchase an e-File of a single list
  •  
  • Purchase an e-File of the entire Book of Lists database
  •  
  • Purchase a printed copy of the Book of Lists
  •  
    National
    Local
    Latest News
    Advertisement