Aug 18, 2023

‘Ice Bucket Challenge’ Gene Research Opens New Insights Into ALS Causes, Treatment

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, genetics, neuroscience

Since 2014, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has inspired more than 17 million people to raise $115 million for The ALS Association, which has funded over 500 research projects with the money. Because of that boost, the first drug to treat ALS has been approved by the FDA, other new treatments are in testing, and scientists have been able to identify several genes that are connected to the disease.

While mutations in a gene called NEK1 have only been associated with around two percent of ALS cases, it is one of the primary genetic causes of ALS that have been revealed so far. Now investigators have learned more about how NEK1 mutations can lead to ALS, a disease in which the motor neurons that control movement degenerate and die, which causes paralysis and eventually, death. The work has been reported in Science Advances.

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