WBEZ | ALS http://www.wbez.org/tags/als Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Dawn Clark Netsch reveals she has ALS http://www.wbez.org/news/dawn-clark-netsch-reveals-she-has-als-104987 <p><p>Former Illinois Comptroller and longtime state Sen. Dawn Clark Netsch says she&#39;s suffering from Lou Gehrig&#39;s disease.</p><p>The disease, also known as ALS, is a fatal degenerative disorder that weakens the nerves and makes it difficult to walk, swallow and speak.</p><p>Netsch tells <a href="http://bit.ly/USvtiS" target="_blank">WMAQ-TV</a> that the diagnosis is &quot;a tough one.&quot; She says she&#39;s talking about her disease because it might get more people thinking about ALS.</p><p>Although she sometimes needs assistance to walk, Netsch is continuing her work on two state ethics commissions.</p><p>The Illinois Democrat was elected state comptroller in 1990. She helped rewrite the Illinois Constitution in 1970 and shortly after was elected to the state senate, where she served for 18 years.</p><p>In 1994, Netsch ran unsuccessfully for Illinois governor.</p></p> Thu, 17 Jan 2013 09:37:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/dawn-clark-netsch-reveals-she-has-als-104987 Northwestern scientists claim 'breakthrough' ALS discovery http://www.wbez.org/story/northwestern-scientists-claim-breakthrough-als-discovery-90887 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-23/Protein_UBQLN2_PDB_1j8c.png" alt="" /><p><p>Researchers at Northwestern University say they've made a breakthrough discovery that could lead to a treatment for Lou Gehrig's disease.</p><p>Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also called ALS, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that slowly paralyzes its victims. Until now, scientists didn't know exactly how it worked. But researchers at Northwestern's Feinberg School of Medicine say they've found the culprit: the mutated version of a protein called ubiquilin2. Ubiquilin2 normally carries away other damaged or abnormal proteins.</p><p>But in someone with ALS, it doesn't, and the bad proteins build up in the parts of the brain and spinal cord that control movement. Researchers say this is the first time scientists have identified a body process that's involved in all types of ALS.</p><p>"This is very helpful and hopeful for the entire community," said Teepu Siddique, the study's lead author and a professor of neurology and clinical neurosciences. "And with the proper application of research, I think we can make rapid progress."</p><p>Now that scientists have identified the mechanism that drives ALS, they can begin testing drugs to fight it, Siddique said. The study appears in the journal Nature.</p></p> Mon, 22 Aug 2011 17:29:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/northwestern-scientists-claim-breakthrough-als-discovery-90887