Research on Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
ALS research scientists are studying families with the disease who lack the SOD1 mutation to locate additional genes that cause it. Identification of additional ALS genes will allow genetic testing that is useful for diagnostic confirmation of and prenatal screening for the disease.
This work with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis could lead to a greater understanding of sporadic ALS, because, clinically speaking, the familial form is virtually indistinguishable from sporadic ALS. Some researchers believe that familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis genes may also be involved in the manifestations of the more common sporadic form. Scientists also hope to identify genetic risk factors that may predispose people to sporadic ALS.
(Click Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis for more information about the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of both forms of this disease.)