Is it possible to target the root cause of ALS linked to the C9ORF72 gene?

Dr. Christopher E. Pearson, a genetics expert based at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in Toronto and Full-Professor at the University of Toronto, has studied DNA repeat expansions, a type of genetic mutation common to neurodegenerative disease, for decades. Recently, his team successfully reversed one version of this type of mutation in a Huntington’s […]

ALS Canada Research Update, June 2021

The second quarter of 2021 continues to see progress within the field of ALS research. Some of the most notable discoveries at this point in the year include the identification of a possible link between the vascular system and ALS, identifying new treatment strategies for both genetic and sporadic forms of the disease, and gathering […]

Could mindfulness improve quality of life for people living with ALS?

Thanks to joint funding from Brain Canada and ALS Canada through the 2020 Discovery Grant Program, a team based at The Neuro (Montreal Neurological Institute-Hospital) will be able to pioneer a study on mindfulness in ALS, with the goal of helping health care professionals, people living with ALS and their primary caregivers enjoy better quality […]

ALS Canada Advocacy Update – June 2021

This blog series is a place for the ALS community to learn about and stay updated on ALS Canada’s advocacy efforts as well as relevant developments within government. Please note that because ALS Canada advocates federally and provincially within Ontario, these updates will primarily feature updates from the federal and Ontario provincial levels of government. […]

Sneak peek: What you can expect at the 2021 virtual Walk to End ALS

Can you believe it? We’re less than two weeks away from the virtual Walk to End ALS happening next weekend on Sunday, June 20! Although we can’t be together in-person again this year, we’ve gone the extra mile to unite everyone safely again, before and after we all “walk”. The drill is the same as […]

ALS Canada’s 2021 Research Forum: Bringing together the research and patient community virtually

Each year, ALS Canada convenes the brightest minds in ALS research across Canada at a two-day Research Forum to discuss their work and build capacity for more discoveries in this rapidly changing field. After the pandemic cancelled our plans to host the event in 2020, this year we brought the community together safely in a […]

A single mom living with ALS has high hopes for Lou Gehrig Day

For Taya Jones, a single mother of three, there has been one silver lining during COVID-19, and that has been making memories with her children in the evenings, after work and school. “We’ve been isolated together for more than a year, and it’s been probably the best year of my life because of that. ALS […]

Could inflammation in this pathway provide a new target for ALS therapies?

A newly identified pathway has been piquing research interest around the world for its possible role in ALS. Recently, Canadian virologist Dr. Honglin Luo, in collaboration with her colleague Dr. Neil Cashman, discovered that an immune pathway known as cGAS-STING – a catchier abbreviation for cyclic GMP-AMP synthase-stimulator of interferon genes – is activated by […]

How new drugs become approved and accessible to Canadians

Earlier this year, manufacturer Amylyx announced that it plans to pursue Health Canada approval for its AMX0035 therapy. We’ve updated the blog post we first published back in 2018 about how new drugs become accessible in Canada to help orient you to the steps involved, their purpose, the milestones along the way and the timelines […]

Lou Gehrig Day: A call to action from a former NHLer

Mark Kirton faces ALS with the mindset of a pro athlete. He played in the National Hockey League from 1978 to 1988 for Toronto, Detroit and Vancouver and then followed that up with a successful career in real estate in Oakville, which he still runs from home. In the spring of 2015, Mark started feeling […]

A family of Blue Jays fans cheers on Lou Gehrig Day

Baseball has always been a special part of the Cels family. Mike Cels played the sport through high school, switching to slow pitch as an adult and playing it at a competitive level for most of his adult life. After he was diagnosed with ALS in 2017, he and his wife Carmen checked off a […]

ALS Canada Strengthens Board of Directors with four new appointments in 2021/22

We are pleased to extend a warm welcome to Alyssa Barry, Ken Chan, Elizabeth Gandolfi and Dr. Angela Genge who recently joined the ALS Canada Board of Directors. Alyssa Barry became connected to the ALS community when her uncle was diagnosed with ALS. In addition to a personal connected to the cause, she brings to […]

ALS Canada thanks outgoing Board members for their commitment to a future without ALS

With deep appreciation for their contributions of time and expertise, we thank Carol Cottrill, Daniel Riverso and Vincent Quinn whose terms on the ALS Canada Board of Directors have come to an end, and Josette Melanson who becomes Past Chair after serving as Chair of the Board since 2019. Appointed to the Board in 2017, […]

ALS Canada Advocacy Update

Welcome to ALS Canada’s first Advocacy Update. This new blog series is a place for the ALS community to learn about and stay updated on ALS Canada’s advocacy efforts as well as relevant developments within government.  Please note that because ALS Canada advocates federally and provincially within Ontario, these updates will primarily feature updates from […]

Giving the gift of hope with a gift of tomorrow

Richard Ellis and Cathy Payne met on the first day of high school and they immediately became friends.  Their friendship continued throughout university, as they grew into adulthood and began their careers, up until her passing in 2004 at the young age of 41. News of Cathy’s diagnosis came as a shock to Richard because […]

New $2.85M grant to push ALS research forward

ALS Canada and Brain Canada join forces with Alnylam Pharmaceuticals and Regeneron to support a collaborative platform that will unite ALS researchers and accelerate breakthroughs. Together, Brain Canada and ALS Canada are pleased to announce the awarding of a $2,850,000 2019 Platform Support Grant (PSG) to Dr. Sanjay Kalra and team for the Comprehensive Analysis […]

The power of one, the value of many: Celebrating ALS Canada’s volunteers

In honour of National Volunteer Week (NVW), we are reflecting on and celebrating the strength and diversity of ALS Canada’s volunteer community through this year’s theme of the value of one, the power of many. The theme represents the power that individuals can have when they come together as a community to work toward a […]

The Brain-Gut connection: Could a probiotic help delay the onset or severity of ALS symptoms?

The relationship between the gut and the brain has received increasing attention in recent years, and while there is evidence that probiotics support gut health – new research shows that probiotics may also have intriguing possibilities for applications in ALS. A team led by Dr. Alex Parker (Department of Neuroscience, CRCHUM, Université de Montréal), has […]

Provide your input into shaping a national strategy for rare disease drugs

ALS may not be considered rare by all. But the community of approximately 3,000 Canadians living with the disease today is small enough to face unique challenges, with access to therapies – from clinical trial to reimbursement – being a significant one. As the Government of Canada considers how best to create a national strategy […]

Collaboration in Pursuit of a Future Without ALS: $1 Million Invested in ALS Research

Toronto – Sustained investment in transformative research is vital to unlocking the mysteries around the causes and progression of ALS, a devastating terminal disease that gradually paralyzes people because the brain is no longer able to communicate with the muscles of the body that are moved at will. That is why, together, the Brain Canada […]

Top Research Stories of 2020

Although 2020 was an unpredictable and challenging year, the ALS research community continued to push forward with major scientific advances in Canada and internationally. As identified by the ALS Canada Research Team, here are the most newsworthy research stories of 2020 and a look ahead to 2021 with hope for what is to come. ALS […]