March 2021 Foundation eNews

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Newly Discovered Compound Found to Reverse ALS Neuron Damage

“We have identified the first compound that improves the health of upper motor neurons that become diseased,” shares Hande Ozdinler, PhD, senior author of the study along with Richard B. Silverman, PhD, members of the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine.

The degeneration of upper motor neurons, which are movement-initiating nerve cells in the brain, is an early indicator of ALS. “Improving the health of brain neurons is important for ALS and other motor neuron diseases,” Dr. Ozdinler explains.

This study was launched with a pilot research grant funded by the Les Turner ALS Center at Northwestern Medicine. “We are delighted to see the outcome and potential implications of this important study resulting from the Foundation’s research program”, says Andrea Pauls Backman, CEO of the Les Turner ALS Foundation.

We understand the urgent need to move forward as quickly as possible. Next steps for the NU-9 compound includes a more detailed toxicology and pharmacokinetic study, which needs to be completed before any consideration can be given to conducting clinical trials in people living with ALS. Read more about the new compound on our Foundation Blog>>

Special Thanks to our Leadership Sponsor

As our Hope Through Caring Gala approaches on Saturday, March 20, we want to thank our Leadership Sponsor, AbbVie, for its immense support of our ALS community.

When it comes to sponsors, it’s not always the case that there is a shared experience. But the team at AbbVie know first-hand the importance of supporting people living with ALS and their families, as several leaders are living with ALS.

This year, AbbVie board member and 2020 Harvey and Bonny Gaffen Advancements in ALS Award recipient, Ed Rapp, will join us again to present the 2021 award to Steve Gleason, former NFL player and co-founder of Team Gleason and Answer ALS.

We are so grateful for AbbVie’s partnership and continued support in working to create a world free of ALS. Join us for the Virtual Hope Through Caring Gala on Saturday, March 20 at 7pm CST>>

Children and ALS: Live ALS Learning Series Webinar

Children and youth caregivers are often the most hidden and least addressed in families with ALS. This can be due to the fear many parents have in how to talk about ALS, what to say and most importantly, when to say it.

Our next ALS Learning Series webinar on Thursday, March 25 at 12pm CST features a conversation with Melinda Kavanaugh, PhD, MSW, LCSW, Associate Professor, Social Work and Director in Social Welfare at the Helen Bader School of Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

In this live webinar, Dr. Kavanaugh integrates her clinical expertise and many years of research with children and youth in families with neurological disorders, to guide families in engaging with children and youth. Additionally, Dr. Kavanaugh will discuss the several books she has written, using the children’s own words to help guide these conversations.

If you have a child or grandchild who is impacted by ALS in your family, or if you work with families living with ALS, this webinar is geared for you. Register to attend the live webinar>>