Bench Strength: The Power of Collaboration Fuels Canada’s ALS Research

It all started about five years ago, with worms in a Petri dish in a Canadian ALS researcher’s lab. Today, researchers are preparing to launch a Phase 2 clinical trial of the drug pimozide, which in a couple of months will begin recruiting participants at multiple locations across Canada. The story of how this discovery […]

Dr. Christen Shoesmith discusses the importance of donor support

Dr. Christen Shoesmith is the Director of the Motor Neuron Disease Clinic, a member of the London Health Sciences Centre, as well as a member of the Client Services Advisory Council and co-investigator for two ALS Canada clinical research fellowship grants. She is also the chair of the ALS Best Practice Recommendations. Why is donor support […]

Audrey Labarre: ALS Researcher Profile

Audrey Labarre studies in Dr. Alex Parker’s lab at l’Université de Montréal. Could you tell us a little bit about your work? We’re working with the C. elegans, little worms one millimetre long. We use them to model the ALS disease. I’m interested in the gut microbiota – all your bacterial friends that are living […]

Elsa Tremblay – ALS and the Neuromuscular Junction

Updated October 20, 2017 Elsa Tremblay from l’Université de Montréal studies ALS because of a personal connection. Is there anything in particular that drew you to studying ALS? I went into ALS because my father died from ALS, and also my grandmother. So it’s pretty clear that ALS is running in the family…probably a genetic […]

Pimozide: Everything Old is New Again

Updated October 20, 2017 Very early in his medical training, Dr. Lawrence Korngut was introduced to the concept of ALS. “As a neurologist, I have always been very interested in the physical exam and ALS is the perfect example since the diagnosis is made entirely by physical exam,” said Dr. Korngut in an interview with […]

Dr. Christen Shoesmith – ALS Best Practice Recommendations

Updated November 28, 2017 A group of ALS clinicians across the country is developing Best Practice Recommendations to set a common standard of care for Canadians living with ALS. Dr. Christen Shoesmith of the London Health Sciences Centre explains. She will be speaking about the Canadian ALS Best Practice Recommendations at the Virtual Research Forum on […]

From Inquiry to Insight: Dr. Michael Strong

Updated October 20, 2017 Dr. Michael Strong has spent his career as a clinician scientist researching ALS with a determined curiosity and keen attention to new learning in the field. Over the years, people living with ALS and their families have been an ongoing source of inspiration to him. “The toughest thing in life is […]

Skin models for the study of ALS

Updated October 20, 2017 Bastien Paré from l’Université Laval has been studying ALS for more than five years. We spoke with him about his research and the future of ALS in Canada. Can you tell us about your ALS Canada-funded research? I’m quite different from most people that are working on neurons, and trying to understand […]

Every August Until A Cure

“Every August until a cure.” These five words were first spoken by ALS patient and advocate Pat Quinn upon accepting a Webby Award for his part in creating the Ice Bucket Challenge. The social media phenomenon and global sensation raised millions of dollars for charitable organizations dedicated to funding ALS research and support, and gave […]

Learning more about how gene mutations can cause ALS

Updated October 20, 2017 In the late 1980s, Dr. Neil Cashman was completing a neurology fellowship in ALS at the University of Chicago. At that time, little was known about the genetics or biology of ALS and Dr. Cashman became captivated by trying to understand the cause of the progressive paralysis he observed in his […]

For Tom and Denis, the Ice Bucket Challenge is Personal

Like many people, Denis and his husband Tom were familiar with the Ice Bucket Challenge that became a social media phenomenon in the summer of 2014 – but they never imagined they would one day have a personal motivation to participate. That all changed in 2015 when Denis was diagnosed with ALS. From that point […]

Could viruses play a role in the onset or progression of ALS in people with a genetic link?

Updated November 28, 2017 When a person is infected with a virus, it triggers an immune response that generally results in inflammation. For example – think of the sore throat, redness and swelling that occurs when you are sick with tonsillitis. The immune response is designed to rid the body of the pathogens causing the […]

Dr. Richard Bedlack’s Quest for ALS Discovery: The Truth is Out There

Updated October 20, 2017 Dr. Richard Bedlack’s passion for neurology started when he was a child. As many children do, he used to roll down hills with his little brother – but Dr. Bedlack’s inquisitive nature made him wonder why it made them dizzy. His fascination with the nervous system grew over time as he […]