Genetic Link: ALS to DM

From ScienceDaily.com comes some interesting information,and hope for treatments of terrible diseases in both dogs and people.

Lou Gehrig's Disease Linked to DM in Dogs Researchers from Univ. of Missouri and Broad Institute say that they have "uncovered the genetic mutation of degenerative myelopathy, which has been unknown for 30 years, and linked it to ALS, a human disease that has no cure." (ALS is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.)

Veterinary neurologist Joan Coates, an associate professor of veterinary medicine & surgery in the MU vet school notes: "Dogs with DM are likely to provide scientists with a more reliable animal model for ALS. Also, this discovery will pave the way for DNA tests that will aid dog breeders in avoiding DM in the future."

Degenerative myelopathy (DM) takes a horrible toll on many breeds, and of course, my beloved German Shepherds are at the top of the list of affected breeds. Being able to screen for this genetic defect is good news for anyone interested in breeding the healthiest possible dogs.

Since dogs are a better model for testing the therapeutic approaches, this means that clinical trials in dogs in order to find good answers for humans will ultimately result in a good deal of knowledge about what works in dogs.

Thanks to Ginny Palmieri over at Crows Nest for the heads up!

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