UMass Medical Researchers on Cusp of ALS Breakthrough

NEC member UMass Medical School recently announced the discovery of a possible new breakthrough in the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). So far, the gene therapy technique has been proven effective in animal experiments, and will be tested soon in clinical trials on patients.

This treatment, which involves using synthetic microRNAs to counteract proteins linked to the disease, would only work on the roughly 10 percent of patients who have the familial version of ALS. 25 years ago, the research team of Dr. Robert H. Brown Jr. located the first gene associated with ALS, a protein called SOD1. The possible cure includes using specially engineered microRNAs to switch off the mutation of SOD1 that causes the disease.

Christian Mueller, a faculty member at UMass who worked on the study, said, “We’ve moved it pretty quickly. It’s pretty unusual to get a project from conception to patients in such a short period of time.”

The NEC congratulates UMass on discovering this possible new treatment and commends them on their commitment to curing ALS.

Read more from the Worcester Telegram.


Recently from the Blog

Sunday on DC Dialogue: Rep. Lori Trahan, Boston Globe’s James Pindell

02/21/2020 | Read Post

Northeastern to Build $100 Million Research Campus in Portland

02/7/2020 | Read Post

In the News

NEC Statement on Senate Approval of USMCA

01/16/2020 | Read Press Release

NEC Statement on House Approval of USMCA

12/19/2019 | Read Press Release