ALS: Lou Gehrig’s Disease

The neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS; Lou Gehrig’s disease) is a fatal paralytic disorder characterized by cell death of corticospinal neurons. Early in the disease process cortical circuits are hyperexcitable, but specific mechanisms have not been identified. High-resolution imaging and electrophysiological analysis of specific microcircuits of corticospinal neurons will reveal, for the first time, how these neurons are ‘mis-wired’ in ALS, with high potential for identifying new cellular/molecular targets for therapeutic interventions.

Other Grants

Lindsay M. De Biase, Ph.D., University of California Los Angeles
The Role of Microglial Lysosomes in Selective Neuronal Vulnerability
Synapses, the sites of signaling between neurons in the brain, play essential roles in learning, memory, and the health of neurons themselves. An enduring mystery is why some neurons are…
How the Nervous System Constructs Internal Models of the External World
As animals navigate their environments, they construct internal models of the external sensory world and use these models to guide their behavior. This ability to incorporate ongoing sensory stimuli into…
Xiaojing Gao, Ph.D., Stanford University
When Neural Circuits Meet Molecular Circuits: Quantitative Genetic Manipulation with Single-cell Consistency
Cells are the building blocks of our bodies. We get sick when the cells “misbehave”. The way modern gene therapies work is to introduce genes, fragments of DNA molecules that…
Rafiq Huda, Ph.D., Rutgers University
Conducting the Orchestra of Movement—Functional Role of Striatal Astrocytes in Health and Disease
Movement requires coordinated activity across a large brain-wide network. The striatum is a particularly important part of this circuit; it integrates motor-related information from many distinct brain regions to regulate…