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Medical News and Perspectives
March 2, 2005

Experimental Therapies Hold Promise for Treating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

JAMA. 2005;293(9):1048-1049. doi:10.1001/jama.293.9.1048

Although numerous agents have been tested for their efficacy against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), only one to date—riluzole—has been shown to slow this progressive neurodegenerative disorder. But while modestly effective, riluzole cannot ultimately stem the relentless loss of motor neurons that occurs in patients with ALS.

Nevertheless, clinical trials are yielding lessons that are helping researchers design more effective strategies against ALS. Such data, as well as novel insights into the processes that give rise to the disease, are pointing to new treatments involving methods such as gene therapy and RNA silencing, as discussed at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the Society for Neuroscience.

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