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Related terms: ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig's Disease, Motor Neurone Disease, ALS

FDA Approves 1st New Drug for ALS in Decades

Posted 8 May 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 8, 2017 – The first new drug to treat amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in more than 20 years has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Radicava (edaravone) is taken intravenously daily for 14 days, followed by 14 days without the drug. Subsequent treatment cycles consist of treatment for 10 out of 14 days, followed by 14 days without the drug. "After learning about the use of edaravone to treat ALS in Japan, we rapidly engaged with the drug developer about filing a marketing application in the United States," Dr. Eric Bastings, deputy director of the division of neurology products in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, said in an agency news release. "This is the first new treatment approved by the FDA for ALS in many years, and we are pleased that people with ALS will now have an additional option," Bastings added. The very first ALS ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Radicava

FDA Approves Radicava (edaravone) to Treat Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

Posted 6 May 2017 by Drugs.com

May 5, 2017 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Radicava (edaravone) to treat patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. “After learning about the use of edaravone to treat ALS in Japan, we rapidly engaged with the drug developer about filing a marketing application in the United States,” said Eric Bastings, M.D., deputy director of the Division of Neurology Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. “This is the first new treatment approved by the FDA for ALS in many years, and we are pleased that people with ALS will now have an additional option.” ALS is a rare disease that attacks and kills the nerve cells that control voluntary muscles. Voluntary muscles produce movements such as chewing, walking, breathing and talking. The nerves lose the ability to activate specific muscles, which causes ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Radicava, Edaravone

Scientists Extend Lives of Mice With ALS

Posted 12 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 12, 2017 – A recent discovery in mice might one day lead to a new approach for treating people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), researchers report. They found that suppressing a single protein significantly extended the lives of mice with a form of ALS, a progressive neurodegenerative condition also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. In one experiment, untreated mice lived no longer than 29 days. Yet, some of the mice with a suppressed ataxin 2 protein were alive for more than 400 days, the study showed. While these findings appear promising, they need to be viewed cautiously. What works in animals often doesn't pan out in humans. In ALS, nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord degenerate. This leads to wasting of the muscles and the gradual loss of the ability to move, speak, eat or breathe. In most cases, paralysis and death occurs within two to five years, the ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Diagnosis and Investigation

Fewer Than 1,000 Used Oregon's Right-to-Die Law by 2015

Posted 6 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, April 6, 2017 – Oregon's Death with Dignity Act allows terminally ill patients to end their own lives. But over almost two decades, relatively few patients have done so, a new study reveals. Less than 1,000 residents have followed through since Oregon became the first state to permit physician-aided dying in 1997, researchers found. More people requested the lethal drugs than actually used them. And, more than three-quarters who used the drugs had cancer, said Dr. Charles Blanke, lead researcher of the new study. "Oregon's Death with Dignity Act is being used only rarely, and by patients who are truly suffering," said Blanke, a professor of medicine at Oregon Health and Science University's Knight Cancer Institute. Most patients who chose to die cited loss of independence and an inability to enjoy life, said Blanke, who is also chair of SWOG, a worldwide cancer study group. ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, HIV Infection, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Respiratory Tract Disease

Could Electromagnetic Fields Raise a Worker's ALS Risk?

Posted 30 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, March 29, 2017 – On-the-job exposure to electromagnetic fields may double the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative disease of the nervous system, a new study suggests. Electric company linemen, welders, sewing machine operators and airplane pilots are all people in occupations that could boost the chances of getting the always-fatal disease, said senior researcher Roel Vermeulen. "Essentially, these are jobs where workers are placed in close proximity to appliances that use a lot of electricity," said Vermeulen, an associate professor of environmental epidemiology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. However, even people holding these jobs still have a low overall risk of ALS, said neurologist Dr. Catherine Lomen-Hoerth, director of the ALS Center at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Only one in 100,000 people ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Diagnosis and Investigation

Does Mercury in Fish Play a Role in ALS?

Posted 20 Feb 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Feb. 20, 2017 – Eating mercury-laden seafood may raise the risk of developing ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), preliminary research suggests. The report warns of possible harm from fish containing the most mercury, such as swordfish and shark. It doesn't suggest a higher risk of ALS from general consumption of seafood. "For most people, eating fish is part of a healthy diet," said study author Dr. Elijah Stommel, who's with Dartmouth College's Geisel School of Medicine in Hanover, N.H. "But questions remain about the possible impact of mercury in fish," Stommel said in an American Academy of Neurology news release The study of 500-plus people found that seafood eaters who ate the most mercury-heavy fish may face double the risk of developing ALS. However, the study only established a link between the two, not a cause-and-effect relationship. Mercury is a toxic metal that ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Poisoning, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Mercury Poisoning

Brain Scans Let 'Locked-In' ALS Patients Communicate

Posted 31 Jan 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 31, 2017 – Brain imaging enabled four severely "locked-in" patients – all conscious and aware but unable to communicate – to answer yes-and-no questions, researchers report. One patient, at the request of his family, was asked whether he'd allow his daughter to marry her boyfriend. Nine out of 10 times, he said no, the researchers said. Scientists were impressed by the study findings, which involved advanced brain-computer technology. "This is at the frontier in terms of communication with patients who have locked-in syndrome," said Marie-Christine Nizzi. She is a psychology instructor with the Mind, Brain and Behavior Initiative at Harvard University. "Researchers in this study are cautious but they find that, most of the time, measuring the oxygen in specific areas of the brain allowed them to identify the sentences that patients knew were true versus sentences they ... Read more

Related support groups: Ischemic Stroke, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Head Imaging

Was Football Safer Back in the Day?

Posted 12 Dec 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 12, 2016 – In a finding that suggests football used to be a less dangerous sport, a small study shows that men who played in high school in the 1950s and 1960s may not be at increased risk for dementia or memory problems. Nor did they show increased rates of Parkinson's disease or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease. The study used a small group of men, the researchers acknowledged. But, they added, the results are in line with an earlier study that examined men who'd played high school football in the 1940s and 1950s. "What we can say is, for that era, football did not increase the risks of neurodegenerative disease compared with other sports," said senior researcher Dr. Rodolfo Savica, a neurologist at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. That might sound surprising, given evidence that former professional football players can face ... Read more

Related support groups: Parkinson's Disease, Dementia, Alzheimer's Disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Mild Cognitive Impairment, Arteriosclerotic Dementia, Parkinsonian Tremor, Parkinsonism, Lewy Body Dementia, Drug-Induced Dementia

Smoking Tied to Shorter Survival With ALS

Posted 22 Sep 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 21, 2016 – Smoking may speed progression of Lou Gehrig's disease and shorten the lives of those with the fatal illness, new research suggests. Also known as ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), the disease damages nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. These cells control many vital muscle functions, including speaking, swallowing and breathing. Though no cure for ALS has been found, scientists have identified several risk factors, including genes, gender, age and underlying health issues. For this study, researchers explored the link between tobacco and development of ALS. They collected data on the smoking habits of 650 people diagnosed with ALS between 2007 and 2011 in northern Italy. They also looked at chronic lung disease (COPD) among these patients. Nearly 19 percent of the ALS patients were regular smokers when they were diagnosed. Researchers noted that 28 ... Read more

Related support groups: Smoking, Smoking Cessation, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Better Detection Key to Rising ALS Cases in U.S.

Posted 4 Aug 2016 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 4, 2016 – Better detection appears to explain the recent rise in the number of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) cases in the United States, government health officials say. It's unlikely that the rate of ALS – also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, named after the legendary baseball player who died from it – is actually increasing, says a new report from the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. According to the agency's National ALS Registry, the estimated ALS prevalence rate rose from 4.7 cases per 100,000 people in 2012 to 5 cases per 100,000 in 2013. However, "it is likely the increased prevalence rate since the first report was issued does not reflect an actual increase in the number of ALS cases," said report lead author Dr. Paul Mehta, medical epidemiologist and principal investigator with the ALS Registry. "Rather, this increase is more ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Diagnosis and Investigation

'Ice Bucket Challenge' Funds a Boon to ALS Research

Posted 27 Jul 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 27, 2016 – The hugely popular "Ice Bucket Challenge" did more than convince millions of people to dump buckets of ice water over their heads to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research: It actually funded a study that has discovered an important new ALS gene. The ALS Association used Ice Bucket Challenge donations to fund Project MinE, an international effort to sequence the genomes of at least 15,000 people with ALS. Researchers now report on the fruits of that effort: A gene called NEK1 was discovered through a search for ALS risk genes in more than 1,000 families with a history of ALS. Further gene testing, of more than 13,000 people with ALS who did not have a family history of the devastating disease, also revealed over-representation of variants in the NEK1 gene. "Global collaboration among scientists, which was really made possible by ALS Ice ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Diagnosis and Investigation

Pesticides Linked to Raised Risk of ALS

Posted 9 May 2016 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, May 9, 2016 – Exposure to pesticides and other chemicals may increase the risk for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), a fatal neurological disease, researchers say. Three toxins in particular were associated with greater risk for the progressive condition, often called Lou Gehrig's disease because it killed the legendary baseball player with that name. "We are identifying these toxic, persistent, environmental pollutants in higher amounts in ALS patients compared to those who do not have ALS," said study co-author Dr. Stephen Goutman. He is assistant professor of neurology at the University of Michigan and director of its ALS Clinic. This new study doesn't prove pesticides cause ALS, but it does build on an association suggested in previous research, Goutman said. Scientists already suspect pesticides may contribute to Parkinson's disease, another neurodegenerative disorder. ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Poisoning, Toxic Reactions Incl Drug and Substance Abuse, Organophosphate Poisoning

Formaldehyde in Embalming Fluid May Raise ALS Risk for Funeral Directors

Posted 13 Jul 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, July 13, 2015 – Male funeral directors who routinely work with embalming fluid might be at increased risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study finds. Those whose jobs involved continual exposure to the formaldehyde in embalming fluid were three times more likely to develop the neurological disease, compared to people never exposed to the chemical, researchers reported in the July 13 issue of the Journal of Neurology Neurosurgery & Psychiatry. The study found that the jobs of funeral directors involve the sort of frequent and intense formaldehyde exposure that could lead to ALS, often called Lou Gehrig's disease for the famous baseball player who died of it. "Of the approximately 500 men exposed to very high levels of formaldehyde, they were all funeral directors," said study author Andrea Roberts, a research associate at Harvard University's T.H. Chan ... Read more

Related support groups: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Formaldehyde, Lazerformalyde, Forma-Ray, Formalaz, Formadon, Formalyde-10 Spray

Could Type 2 Diabetes Shield Against ALS?

Posted 1 Jun 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, June 1, 2015 – Type 2 diabetes may reduce the risk of developing the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a new study suggests. ALS, also called Lou Gehrig's disease after the famed baseball player who died of the illness, destroys nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. Little is known about its causes, and no treatments exist to halt it. About half of ALS patients die within three years of diagnosis, according to the study authors. This study of Danish residents found that type 2 diabetes – but not obesity, which is often linked to type 2 diabetes – was associated with a possible lower risk of developing ALS. "We found a protective association between type 2 diabetes and ALS," said lead author Marianthi-Anna Kioumourtzoglou, a researcher at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. "This is a very new finding." Only in the past six months ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Diabetes Mellitus

Common Blood Pressure Drug May Lower Risk For Lou Gehrig's Disease: Study

Posted 10 Nov 2014 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Nov. 10, 2014 – Medications commonly used to lower blood pressure might also lower the risk of developing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, researchers suggest. In fact, those who took particular doses of the medications known as angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors (ACE inhibitors) for more than four years appeared to reduce their risk of ALS by 57 percent, the researchers found. "ALS is the most common form of motor neuron disease," said lead researcher Charles Tzu-Chi Lee, an associate professor in the department of public health at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan. Neurons are nerve cells, and motor neurons are the nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movements, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). "Most patients with ALS die within three to five years after the onset of ... Read more

Related support groups: Lisinopril, Ramipril, Enalapril, Benazepril, Perindopril, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Quinapril, Zestril, Vasotec, Altace, Lotensin, Captopril, Accupril, Prinivil, Fosinopril, Monopril, Trandolapril, Capoten, Mavik, Univasc

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