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Gene Stabilizing Technique Could Help Prevent Inherited ALS

Posted on September 23, 2016 by Disability Help Group

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that progresses rapidly, causing muscle weakness and loss muscle of control. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately 90-95 percent of all ALS patients develop the disease with no clear risk factors. The other five to 10 percent inherit the disease from their parents.

A mutation in the SOD1 gene causes about 20 percent of the inherited cases. This mutation causes proteins to clump in groups of three called trimers. Trimers are one of the mechanisms in ALS that kill the motor neurons responsible for muscle control and movement.

Researchers at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine are developing a technique to stabilize the mutated SOD1 gene and prevent protein clumping. Using computer models, the researchers determined adding phosphate to the SOD1 proteins effectively stopped protein clump formation.

These findings, published in the Structure medical journal, are a great step in preventing ALS inherited from an SOD1 mutation. There is also hope that the process of stopping the protein clumps could apply to other non-inherited forms of the disease.

ALS Progresses Quickly and Qualifies for Compassionate Allowance

If you or a loved one has a diagnosis of ALS, otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, the Social Security Administration (SSA) automatically approves you for Social Security disability benefits through the Compassionate Allowances program. This program designates diseases that are always fatal and progress rapidly as automatic disabilities. This fast-track process helps you get your benefits quickly before your condition deteriorates further.

Even though your disability is already SSA-approved, you will still need to present evidence of your condition. The Disability Help Group assists disabled individuals with supporting and appealing their disability benefits claims.

Give us a call today to speak with a disability advocate: 800-800-2009.