Tregs -- They're a Good Thing
Tregs (regulatory T cells) are the key watchdogs that help keep neuroinflammation in check -- and potentially slow down the progression of ALS.
Research is being conducted to introduce a method to rapidly identify medicines that boost the numbers of Tregs. A growing number of researchers suspect that boosting populations of Tregs might help slow ALS in its tracks. Increasing numbers of Tregs might extend survival of people with the disease.
For more on Tregs and how researchers are working to identify medicines that might boost Treg levels, see ALS-TDI
NeuRx Diaphragm Pacing System Study
NEALS (Northeast ALS Consortium) is leading a study to assess the ability of the NeuRx Diaphragm Pacing System to improve respiratory function and quality of life in people with ALS. Survival and shortness of breath will also be determined. For more information about the trial, see NEALS
MDA's Flu Shot Program
If your health insurance does not cover the cost of annual flu shots, MDA can help. For info: MDA's Flu Shot Program
Weather and MDA
If you are impacted by severe weather and need MDA services -- including help repairing or replacing durable medical equipment that's been damaged by a storm or information about local groups offering emergency assistance and/or shelter, contact MDA by calling (800) 572-1717 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEALS Recruiting for Phase 2 Trial of Nuedexta
NEALS (Northeast ALS Consortium) is looking for 60 participants for a trial to evaluate whether Nuedexta has any effects on bulbar functions including speech, swallowing and saliva function. Nuedexta is approved by the US FDA to treat pseudobulbar affect -- a neurological disorder in which episodes of laughing or crying occur out of proportion or unrelated to mood in ALS and other neurologic conditions. For more information, see the NEALS website
"Clump-Busting" Molecule Targets Misfolded Proteins in ALS
A common feature in ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases is the presence in nerve cells of improperly folded proteins that clump together, forming aggregates. Breaking up aggregates and helping misfolded proteins refold into their proper shape may be an effective therapeutic strategy for preventing or supressing nerve-cell death in ALS.
In tests conducted in yeast cells, modified versions of the yeast protein HSP104 broke apart aggregates containing TDP43 and FUS -- two proteins known to misfold and aggregate in ALS -- and helped the misfolded proteins return to their proper form. The findings represent a first step toward the potential development of clump-busting therapies for ALS and other neurodegenerative diseases. For more, see MDA-ALS Magazine
24th International Symposium on ALS/MND Stresses Progress
"We are undoubtedly slowing down the MND [motor neuron disease or ALS] supertanker, and can start to see how we might turn it around for the first time," said Martin Turner, senior clinician scientist at the University of Oxford (UK) on research being reported on at the Symposium
Highlights of the Symposium:
For more on these topics, see MDA/ALS Newsmagazine
Phase 2 trial to test Immunosuppression in ALS
Researchers are seeking approximately 30 people with ALS to participate in a phase 2 trial to test a treatment regimen used to suppress the immune system.
The trial, which is being conducted at 3 sites in Georgia and Massachusetts, is designed to identify and evaluate any effects of the treatment -- a combination of 5 drugs.
Fore more information on this trial, see MDA/ALS Newsmagazine