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12-04-20 Researchers link cases of ALS and FTD to a Huntington's disease-associated mutation

A study led by researchers at the National Institutes of Health has made a surprising connection between frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), two disorders of the nervous system, and the genetic mutation normally understood to cause Huntington's disease.

This large, international project, which included a collaboration between the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), opens a potentially new avenue for diagnosing and treating some individuals with FTD or ALS.


07-08-20 UMass Chan Medical School announces ALS breakthrough

Researchers at UMass Chan Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital have announced a major breakthrough in ALS research: a therapy that suppresses a harmful gene that causes the nervous system disease.

The advancement, announced by researchers Wednesday and set to appear in the New England Journal of Medicine, is the latest made by UMass Chan Medical School researchers, who've also identified critical genes that influence the development of ALS.


03-10-20 New ALS Association grant supports John Landers research into identifying ALS genes

The ALS Association - Massachusetts Chapter awarded John Landers, PhD, professor of neurology, a $25,000 grant to further his ongoing research into amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the motor neurons that control muscle cells. People with ALS slowly lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis.


01-25-20 ALS - New Hope from Ice Buckets

07-15-19 Ice Bucket Challenge Turns 5 at Copley Square

The ALS Association organized an event to mark the fifth anniversary of the ice bucket challenge.


04-19-19 John Landers receives $300K from Muscular Dystrophy Association to identify therapeutic targets for ALS

The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has awarded John Landers, PhD, professor of neurology, a $300,000 research grant to identify new therapeutic targets for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The grant is one of eight totaling more than $2 million awarded by the MDA for ALS research this month.


11-17-18 Study gets docs one step closer to dousing ALS

A team led by a University of Massachusetts Medical School researcher has discovered yet another gene associated with ALS — a development that will likely help scientists find more ways to treat the degenerative disease.

“As we find more genes, we can start to dissect out what’s going wrong in ALS patients,” said John Landers of UMass Chan Medical School, who led the recent study. “That will help determine how we can develop drug therapies.”


03-22-18 UMass Chan researchers in Worcester found ALS gene mutation

An international team of researchers has moved a step closer to understanding the crippling, fatal disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS.

Research led by John Landers, a Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Dr. Bryan Traynor at the National Institute on Aging at the National Institutes of Health has identified a new gene, KIF5A, associated with the development of ALS. KIF5A is one of a growing list of gene mutations found in ALS patients.


04-06-17 Unlocking ALS

It was way back in 1939 when Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig said goodbye to the game because of ALS. Nearly 80 years after that famous speech, it is still 100-percent fatal. Most patients live just 2 to 5 years after diagnosis.


07-30-16 Two years later, Ice Bucket Challenge yields huge dose of hope for Minnesotans with ALS

People who had waited a year or more for gear to help them live more independently can now get a key piece of equipment delivered within days.

Two summers ago, Facebook pages across the country were saturated with videos of people dumping buckets of ice water over their heads in a fundraiser for ALS, the fatal neurodegenerative disorder popularly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

At the time, the Ice Bucket Challenge was derided by many as little more than a marketing gimmick, a feel-good way for celebrities and others to appear altruistic without having to do much of anything. Critics pointed out that many of those who posted videos never even mentioned the disease or how to help the cause.

07-30-16 The ice bucket challenge's scientific success restored my faith in fundraising

FILE - In this Aug. 7, 2014, file photo, two women get doused during the ice bucket challenge at Boston’s Copley Square to raise funds and awareness for ALS. The ALS Association says money raised through the challenge helped fund a project that has discovered a gene linked to the disease. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)

It is absolutely thrilling that money raised by the “ice bucket challenge” – that seemingly overblown, internet-BS game parading as a fundraiser for ALS – has actually caused a real thing to happen: more than $100m in donations funded distinct scientific progress in our understanding of the disease.

This contradicts all my feelings about gimmick fundraisers, which I, and many others, usually find trite or even annoying. It can feel like money keeps getting shoveled in to the charity-industrial complex with very little in the way of progress coming out.

07-29-16 Remember the ice bucket challenge? ALS researchers do — with gratitude

"The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge enabled The ALS Association to invest in Project MinE's work to create large biorepositories of ALS biosamples that are designed to allow exactly this kind of research and to produce exactly this kind of result," says the group. Eventually, all this research and data may lead to a cure.


07-27-16 The Ice Bucket Challenge Helped Fund an ALS Research Breakthrough

A UMass Chan researcher’s team found a new gene associated with the disease.

Marty Walsh Ice Bucket Challenge

If you doused yourself with ice water back in 2014, it wasn’t all for nought. The ALS Association announced Monday that money raised through the Ice Bucket Challenge helped researchers find a new gene associated with ALS, challenging critics who called the viral campaign nothing more than a social media stunt.

07-27-16 UMass Chan-led discovery of ALS gene funded by Ice Bucket Challenge; nets global attention

The discovery of an ALS gene by UMass Chan Medical School scientist John Landers, PhD, and a large, international research team, funded by the viral Ice Bucket Challenge campaign, is garnering headlines around the globe. The research led by Landers and Jan Veldink, PhD, at University Medical Center Utrecht in the Netherlands, was supported by The ALS Association through Project MinE, an international collaboration for gene discovery in ALS.

07-27-16 Ice Bucket Challenge funds ALS gene discovery

"Global collaboration among scientists, which was really made possible by ALS Ice Bucket Challenge donations, led to this important discovery," one of the lead researchers, John Landers, Ph.D., of University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, Massachusetts, said in a statement. "It is a prime example of the success that can come from the combined efforts of so many people, all dedicated to finding the causes of ALS. This kind of collaborative study is, more and more, where the field is headed."

07-26-16 Ice Bucket Challenge funds lead to ALS discovery

Boston City Councillor Tito Jackson, right, leads some 200 people in the ice bucket challenge at Boston's Copley Square, Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014 to raise funds and awareness for ALS. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

The ALS Association contributed $1 million to Project MinE, to launch the U.S. branch of the 15-country collaboration to sequence the entire genome of 15,000 ALS patients and 7,500 individuals without ALS. reported on the project in 2015; their goal is to find as many genetic factors that contribute to ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, as possible, to then identify potential targets for therapy.

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