What Causes ALS? With Dr. Robert Kalb

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Recently, Dr. Robert Kalb, Director of the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine, sat down with the podcast “Breakthroughs” to discuss how the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine is at the forefront of discovering the cause and potential cure of ALS.

In this podcast, Dr. Kalb explains the process of diagnosing ALS and the support services provided through the Center, “Once a person gets to our clinic, and we assemble all of the pieces of information, and include the positive and the negative results, we’re pretty confident that if a person has ALS, that we can give them that diagnosis. And then once they are enrolled in the ALS clinic, they can get a variety of services and support through the Les Turner ALS Center.”

He also talks about his use of antisense oligonucleotides, or ASOs, in the treatment of ALS. This technology is already being used to treat children and infants with spinal muscular atrophy.

“We are basically curing or having a huge impact on children and infants with spinal muscular atrophy. So, this is a template. This is a pathway I know works. Identify the mutant gene, devise therapies that use antisense oligos, give them to patients. The patients will get better. So with that pathway ahead of me, I think that it’s overwhelmingly likely that antisense oligos technologies will turn out to be useful for patients with ALS,” says Dr. Kalb.

Take a listen and hear about exciting research breakthroughs and why Dr. Kalb is optimistic that someday in the near future we will see a world free of ALS.