The impact of donor dollars on ALS research in Canada

The result of the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge gave the ALS community a tremendous gift: awareness and unprecedented investment in ALS research. Thanks to the viral fundraising phenomenon that year, along with matched funds from Brain Canada (through the Canada Brain Research Fund with financial support from Health Canada), the investment of $20 million allowed […]

ALS Research Update, June 2018

ALS research is at a time of unprecedented advancement. Our biggest hope is to stop ALS from stealing dreams, abilities, and lives – and researchers are closer than they’ve ever been to making this a reality. With such unprecedented momentum, we can’t afford to be stagnant. Give now to stop ALS from taking. This ALS […]

Can microscopic bubbles in our blood deliver ALS therapies effectively?

One of the hallmark characteristics of ALS is the clumping of proteins in motor neurons that are believed to cause toxicity and eventual death of the motor neurons, resulting in the loss of muscle control and mobility, and eventually, the abilities to eat and breathe. Many scientists are looking for ways to eliminate protein clumping […]

Can insights about why eye muscles are resistant to ALS help preserve function in other muscles?

Muscles are made of separate fibres bundled together that receive signals from motor neurons, causing the muscles to contract or relax. Motor neurons connect to individual muscle fibres connect to at tiny places called neuromuscular junctions where specialized glial cells called perisynaptic Schwann cells (PSCs) keep the connections functioning well in a healthy body. PSCs […]

ALS Research Update, February 2018

ALS research is at a time of unprecedented advancement. New information on genes linked to ALS and the downstream effects of mutations in these genes has helped researchers to develop a roadmap of the biological pathways that are important in ALS and to gain a better understanding of this complex disease. With new advancements being […]

Leveraging scientific advancements and open science to study ALS progression

ALS is a disease that gradually paralyzes people as motor neurons lose their ability to communicate with the muscles of the body and eventually die. But the problems are not only caused by changes inside motor neurons: the cellular environment around the motor neurons can contribute significantly to disease progression. Microglia are the immune cells […]

Could studying yeast help to answer questions about how ALS progresses?

If you look at a picture of a cell in a science textbook, the internal structures look static and neatly organized. But living cells are bustling with numerous processes, converting nutrients into energy and making proteins that the body’s tissues and organs need to function and grow. Proteins must fold into specific 3D shapes so […]

Could touchscreen technology improve testing for cognitive impairment in ALS?

Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a group of disorders caused by nerve cell loss in areas of the brain responsible for managing cognitive functions and voluntary movement. By itself, FTD, which is the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, can cause memory issues and attention problems, and impair cognitive flexibility — the ability […]

Comparing DNA profiles of Canadians with a similar heritage

Deep inside the nucleus of every cell in the body, DNA carries the master blueprint—the full set of genetic instructions needed for the body to grow, live and reproduce. DNA looks like a twisted ladder made from 3.2 billion pairs of building blocks that join to make up the rungs of the ladder. A complete […]

Most newsworthy research stories of 2017

In 2017, major scientific advances in Canada and internationally have led to significant and exciting progress in ALS research. Discoveries that increase our understanding of the disease are happening far more often than ever before and as a result many new experimental treatments are set to begin human clinical trials in the next few years. […]

Can a guardian protein protect motor neurons from toxicity in ALS?

Proteins are the workhorses inside cells, responsible for almost all cellular functions. To perform their tasks correctly, they must fold into the right 3D shapes. If they take on the wrong shape, they can stick together and form clumps. If the misfolded proteins are not removed by protective mechanisms in cells, they can cause toxic […]

Can probiotics play a protective role in ALS?

Probiotics are friendly, live bacteria that are good for the digestive system. You may be familiar with the digestive benefits of probiotics in foods like yogurt or kefir. Many scientists are investigating how changes in the composition of intestinal bacteria may play a role in a range of diseases including obesity, colorectal cancer, cardiovascular disease […]

Understanding if and how the body compensates for motor neuron loss in ALS

An electrical diagram of a building shows where all the electrical wires, fixtures and components are connected to an electrical system. When a circuit is faulty, it’s easy to identify the culprit because specific lights will not work. But the human nervous system is far more complicated. It is a living network of nerves that […]

Can a promising drug combination address one of the most defining biological characteristics of ALS?

All cells in our bodies make proteins, but sometimes they make mistakes, resulting in proteins that have the wrong shape. In a healthy body, protective mechanisms within the cells deal with the misshapen proteins so they don’t cause trouble, but when those mechanisms fail, the defective proteins can accumulate in clumps, making it difficult for […]

ALS Canada awards $3 million for 12 new research projects to help make amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) a treatable, not terminal disease

TORONTO, November 22, 2017 – Today, the ALS Society of Canada announced 12 exciting new research projects being funded in 2017 through the ALS Canada Research Program, which is supported by ALS Societies across Canada. The research being funded includes a multi-year study of a promising drug combination, three trainee grants that will help to […]

Strengthening Canada’s Excellence in ALS Clinical Trials

For a disease like ALS that has few treatment options and no cure, clinical trials are the best hope for the future. Participants in clinical trials play a critical role to help determine if a new treatment can slow, halt or reverse disease progression, or if a new intervention can improve the quality of life […]

Research to help people with ALS stay active and independent

Updated October 20, 2017 Staying active and independent for as long as possible is important for people living with ALS as the disease progresses. There are many ways in which to manage symptoms or receive care, but there often isn’t enough research performed to determine which approaches make the greatest difference. To help address these […]

Finding New Ways to Diagnose ALS Faster with Advanced Imaging

ALS is difficult to diagnose because no single test or procedure can firmly identify the disease. Current diagnostic tests for ALS focus on ruling out other diseases that share similar initial symptoms. For example, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a test typically used to eliminate a diagnosis of cancer, multiple sclerosis or pressure on the […]

Maximizing the impact of donor dollars for ALS research

Finding new treatments that can change the course of ALS requires a robust research program, one that supports a large community of researchers exploring multiple avenues of inquiry. ALS Canada has been supporting world-class research across Canada for more than 30 years with a variety of grants and awards that are helping to learn more […]

ALS Research Update, August 2017

ALS research is at a time of unprecedented advancement. New information on genes linked to ALS and the downstream effects of mutations in these genes has helped researchers to develop a so-called ‘roadmap’ of biological pathways that are important in ALS and to gain a better understanding of this complex disease. With new advancements being […]

The ALS Canada Research Program

Today was the deadline for applications from the research community for three different types of funding through the ALS Canada Research Program. Applications are evaluated by an international panel of scientific experts through a peer review process, regarded as the international benchmark of excellence in research funding. This approach enables us to maximize the impact […]

New Canadian investments in ALS research reflect growing knowledge about the disease and increasing likelihood of effective treatments being developed

The ALS Society of Canada (ALS Canada), in partnership with Brain Canada, today announced $4.5 million in funding for nine new ALS research projects. This means that since the Ice Bucket Challenge became a social media phenomenon in 2014, nearly $20 million has been invested in Canadian ALS research at a time when it has […]

Canada’s rising stars in ALS research receive more than $1 million from the ALS Canada Research Program and Brain Canada

The generosity of Canadians has helped three early-career researchers to make ALS the focus of their work in the country’s labs and academic institutions. The research funding, which totals more than $1 million, has been awarded through the ALS Canada Research Program and Brain Canada as a result of money raised through the Ice Bucket […]