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Wright State University researcher awarded several million dollars to decode ALS

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Wikimedia Commons

The National Institute of Health has awarded one Wright State University researcher nearly $3 million dollars to decode ALS, a fatal disease.

Dr. Sherif M Elbasiouny is a biomedical engineer studying how amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or Lou Gehrig's disease, affects nerve cells in the spinal cord and in the brain. It causes severe muscle weakness and ultimately death. Nationwide, about 30,000 Americans are living with ALS.

This latest two point $7.2 millions dollar grant is a renewal fueling Elbasiouny's work. It also keeps a unique computer modeling system in operation.

With it, he and his team simulate how the diseased cells may respond to various changes.

Dr. Elbasiouny says, "If we think too much calcium is a problem in the disease then we can test this hypothesis in the model. We can increase the level of calcium in the cell and see how the cell is behaving."

His team is also studying how ALS affects the brain. According to Dr. Elbasiouny, these patients often develop a form of dementia.

Currently, there is no cure for ALS