Sporadic and hereditary amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

Senda Ajroud-Driss*, Teepu Siddique

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

154 Scopus citations


Genetic discoveries in ALS have a significant impact on deciphering molecular mechanisms of motor neuron degeneration. The identification of SOD1 as the first genetic cause of ALS led to the engineering of the SOD1 mouse, the backbone of ALS research, and set the stage for future genetic breakthroughs. In addition, careful analysis of ALS pathology added valuable pieces to the ALS puzzle. From this joint effort, major pathogenic pathways emerged. Whereas the study of TDP43, FUS and C9ORF72 pointed to the possible involvement of RNA biology in motor neuron survival, recent work on P62 and UBQLN2 refocused research on protein degradation pathways. Despite all these efforts, the etiology of most cases of sporadic ALS remains elusive. Newly acquired genomic tools now allow the identification of genetic and epigenetic factors that can either increase ALS risk or modulate disease phenotype. These developments will certainly allow for better disease modeling to identify novel therapeutic targets for ALS. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: Neuromuscular Diseases: Pathology and Molecular Pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)679-684
Number of pages6
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2015


  • Familial ALS
  • Paradigm shift
  • Pathogenesis
  • Sporadic ALS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Molecular Biology


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