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Cedars Grant to Find Cure for Lou Gehrig's Disease PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 10 April 2014 01:56

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Researchers at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center have received a $2.5 million federal grant to try to inject a virus carrying curative proteins into rat nerve fibers, in an effort to fight Lou Gehrig's disease, it was announced Sunday, April 6.

Amytrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, is named after the baseball star who was struck down by the disease. It sickens nerve endings where they control muscles, eventually causing paralysis and death. The Cedars- Sinai research project involves finding a way to get an ALS-fighting protein into the nerve fibers that are sickened by the disease, the hospital announced.

This project will use lab rats to determine if a particular virus can be stripped of its harmful genes, attached to a beneficial protein, and then injected into affected nerves.

The $2.5 million comes from the U.S. Defense Department, which funds ALS research because the disease, for unknown reasons, affects veterans who served overseas at a greater-than-expected percentage.

The project is led by Clive Svendsen, director of the Regenerative Medicine Institute at Cedas-Sinai, and Genevieve Gowing, a senior scientist there.

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