Scientists have discovered a mechanism that causes defects in a group of brain cells that is key to the development of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. The researchers hope the discovery will lead to a new target for treating this and other neurodegenerative diseases that may share a similar cause.

The team, led by Hande Ozdinler, assistant professor in the Ken and Ruth Davee Department of Neurology at Northwestern University in Chicago, IL, reports the findings in the journal Cerebral Cortex.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) first came to public attention when an American baseball player called Lou Gehrig died of the disease in 1941.

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