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March 31, 2008

Researchers identify gene responsible for Lou Gehrig’s disease

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Montreal, March 31, 2008 – A team of Canadian and French researchers has identified a new gene responsible for ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, an incurable neuromuscular disorder that affects motor neurons and leads to paralysis and death within one to five years..


Published in the March 31, 2008 electronic issue of Nature Genetics, the study on human subjects was led mainly by Dr . Guy A. Rouleau, Edor Kabashi, Paul Valdmanis of the Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CHUM). The team identified several genetic mutations in the TDP-43 gene by studying ALS patients from across France and Quebec. They established TDP-43 as the gene responsible for up to five percent of these ALS patients.


The breakthrough is the result of teamwork with peers from the Waterloo and Laval universities in Canada and the Fédération des maladies du système nerveux and the Institute of Biology (Unité de Neurologie Comportementale et Dégénérative) in France.