By LENNO MORLEY, Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) New research from Boston University shows that people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a degenerative brain disease that afflicts roughly 1.5 million Americans, do not respond to medications that are used to treat the disease, a finding that could pave the way for a new treatment.
The researchers, led by Lenny Morrison, the Joseph M. Tobin Chair in Neurosciences at Boston University, looked at nearly 6,000 people with ALS and found that those who did not respond successfully to drugs had worse outcomes.
Researchers are working to develop a vaccine or drug that might help people with the disease.
The study appears online in the journal Neurology.
The researchers also examined data from the Boston Collaborative ALS Treatment Study, which has tracked more than 2,000 ALS patients in Boston for more than a decade.
The data included information about patients’ medical history and their diagnosis.
They found that people who were found to have ALS did not fare well on other treatments, such as neuroprotective drugs and immunotherapy, or that people treated with these drugs did not show any significant improvement.