PI: Mili Kuruvilla
Project Title: Genetic, Neurobiologic and Behavioral Processes in ALS
Grant Agency: UNMC
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) affects approximately 20,000-30,000 individuals in the United States, and each year approximately 5,000 individuals are diagnosed with the disease. Even in the early stages, ALS can lead to significant speech, swallowing, language, and cognitive deficits that negatively impact quality of life, including loss of employment and social isolation. The genetic cause of 80% of affected individuals is currently undetermined. Because definitive genetic and biologic markers have not been identified, the diagnosis of ALS is delayed in the majority of patients by up to one year.
The outcomes of this project will lead to the development of new research and clinical tools for diagnosis and management of ALS. Moreover, understanding the genetic-brain-behavior interactions is essential for improving diagnosis, delineating disease mechanisms, developing therapeutic drugs, and improving patient care.