Researchers say they found a common cause behind the mysterious and deadly affliction of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, that could lead to an effective treatment.
Dr. Teepu Siddique, a neuroscientist with Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine whose pioneering work on ALS over more than a quarter century fueled the research team’s work, said the key to the breakthrough is the discovery of an underlying disease process for all types of ALS.
The discovery could also help in developing treatments for other, more common neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s, dementia and Parkinson’s, Siddique said.
“This is the first time we could connect (ALS) to a clear-cut biomedical mechanism,” Siddique said. “It has really made the direction we have to take very clear and sharp. We can now test for drugs that would regulate this protein pathway or optimize it, so it functions as it should in a normal state.”