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Research connecting two rare but deadly neurological diseases

January 28, 2015

Dr. Rashmi Kothary has been awarded $390,000 from E-Rare, via the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, to explore the role of a protein called Fas in the neuron cell death found in ALS and in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), an incurable paralytic neuromuscular disorder that mainly affects children. Fas is known to contribute to the loss of motor neurons in ALS. Dr. Kothary's team has now shown that high levels of Fas are also found in the neurons of SMA mouse models. He will be joining teams from France and Switzerland to develop gene therapy approaches that reduce Fas activity, with the aim of generating common therapies for ALS, SMA and other motor neuron diseases. See details.

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