New in Neuroscience: Understanding ALS

New in Neuroscience: Understanding ALS

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is finally in the spotlight. As a rare neurodegenerative disease characterized by the progressive loss of a subset of motor neurons, ALS has often been overshadowed by other diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.  However, thanks to events such as the viral Ice Bucket Challenge last summer and Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar winning portrayal of Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, ALS has entered the public consciousness. In parallel, the scientific field has also experienced major growth, with new disease-causing mutations being reported on a regular basis. Labs have rushed to understand how these genetic mutations cause neurodegeneration, but a fundamental question remains unanswered: why do only certain motor neurons die in the course of ALS? After all, genetic mutations are global, and yet in ALS and most neurodegenerative diseases, only a subset of neurons die.

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Brains & Bourbon: Shots! Matt Figley & the Neuro Yeast

Brains & Bourbon: Shots! is a short form version of our show Brains & Bourbon, where we sit down with a neuroscientist to discuss their work and share their favorite cocktail.

In this first episode of Shots!, we chat with graduate student Matt Figley about using yeast to model complex neurological disorders, plus more!


Neurotalk S2E14 Don Cleveland

This week on the Neurotalk podcast, Don Cleveland talks about the mechanisms underlying ALS and other motor neuron disorders, the shift in our basic understanding of how gene mutations lead to human disease, and more!


Dr. Cleveland is professor of cellular and molecular medicine at UC San Diego.