According to Stephan, the research team identified about 10 candidate genes that seem to be consistently associated with sporadic ALS. These deserve further study, he said.
The findings also suggest that there is no single gene underlying ALS. Instead, the disease appears to sit at the confluence of several genes, not to mention environmental factors.
The new study was funded, in part, with a grant from the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
To learn more, visit the ALS Association.
SOURCES: Dietrich Stephan, Ph.D., director of discovery research, Translational Genomics Research Institute, Phoenix; Nathalie Kayadjanian, Ph.D., associate director of biomedical research, the ALS Association, Calabasas Hills, Calif.; Aug. 2, 2007, New England Journal of Medicine