Translational research brings laboratory studies into the clinic to improve care and prolong life in patients with ALS. We are involved with several projects described below.
- NIH funded study with the ALS Research Group (ALSRG), a national consortium of ALS Centers establishing a gene bank of DNA, from blood drawn from ALS patients and healthy controls. This resource will be available to researchers around the country as they search for genetic clues contributing to the cause of ALS.
- ALS Association funded study correlating environmental and genetic risk factors. Patients will undergo a blood draw and a detailed interview about past environmental exposures.
- ALS Association funded study determining the differences between Primary Lateral Sclerosis (PLS) and ALS, using novel neuroimaging techniques. Patients will undergo a clinical examination, neuropsychological testing and a special MRI scan.
- NIH funded study characterizing potential cognitive and behavioral changes in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases, including a portion of ALS patients. Patients will be admitted to a research unit in the hospital for four days of detailed testing including: neuropsychological testing, emotion testing, and neuroimaging. This study is under the direction of Dr. Bruce Miller in the UCSF Memory and Aging Center.
Researchers at UCSF are examining the effects of labeled water (D20) on the activity of T-cells in the central nervous system. We are enrolling men and women, 40 years and older, who have been diagnosed with ALS. If you participate in this study, you will be asked to (1) drink a special kind of labeled water 2-3 times a day for either 12 days or 6 weeks, (2) be tested for HIV, and (3) undergo either 3 spinal taps and 4 blood draws in 12 days or 4 spinal taps and 5 blood draws in 6 weeks. Call Drina Boban (415) 215-0202 for more information. Download a pdf here.
Call the UCSF ALS Center at 415-476-9206 to schedule an appointment or ask for more information.