On July 3rd, CIRM hosted a Google Hangout to discuss progress toward stem cell therapies for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Dr. Clive Svendsen, a CIRM grantee and director of the Cedar Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute, joined the hangout to describe his efforts to bring a stem cell based ALS treatment to clinical trials. Dr. Svendsen has a CIRM Disease Grant to support this work. Dr. Karen Berry, a CIRM science officer, explained the various CIRM-funded ALS projects and described how CIRM helps support its grantees as they strive for clinical trials. Diane Winokur a ALS patient advocate and a CIRM governing board provided an advocate's perspective on the promise of stem cell research for treating ALS. She lost two sons to the disease. Amy Adams, CIRM's communications manager, moderated the conversation.
ALS is a neurological disorder that leads to progressive loss of muscle function. Most people with ALS die within 3 to 5 years from the onset of symptoms.
For more information about CIRM-funded ALS research, visit our fact sheet page