January 16, 2018 - Scientific American Feature Article on Huntington's Disease

Scientific American recently published "Experimental Huntington's Therapy Shows Promise in a Small Trial" that notes the drug discovery efforts of CNS and Dr. Don Cleveland at UCSD. 

November 26, 2017 - The San Diego Union-Tribune Features CNS

The San Diego Union-Tribune featured the drug discovery efforts of CNS director Dr. Smith and his colleagues, Don Cleveland (UCSD) and Frank Bennett (Ionis Pharmaceuticals), in a recently published article entitled "Designer DNA drugs approach a potential watershed moment". 

November 2017 - CNS to Attend Biotech Showcase in San Francisco (January 2018)

We are excited to attend the Biotech Showcase in San Francisco, the premier venue for biotech entrepreneurs which pairs start-up companies with potential investors. This is our first opportunity to participate in this unique forum, providing us an additional opportunity to invest in early stage drug and device development. 

October 19, 2017 - Nature Outlook Highlights CNS in their Research Round-Up 

The Journal Nature Outlook published an article highlighting Dr. Smith and the Center for Neurologic Study's work on Nuedexta. This can be found here

October 2017 - UM Miller School of Medicine Alumni Spotlight 

The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine interviewed Dr. Smith for their October 2017 Alumni Spotlight. This can be found here

September 2017 Visit by Scientists and Physicians from Otsuka Pharmaceutical Corporation

July 2017 - Publication of Enhanced Bulbar Function in ALS: The Neudexta Treatment Trial in Neurotherapeutics, 14(3), 762-772. 

The recently published article is noteworthy in that the placebo-controlled multi-centered study demonstrated enhanced speech and swallowing in response to treatments with  Nuedexta which was approved in 2011 for the treatment of labile emotionality that occurs in ALS and kindred disorders. To our knowledge, this is the first controlled study to show improvement of function in ALS patients using a therapeutic agent. If confirmed in a longer and larger study, Nuedexta is likely to play an important role in the treatment of ALS in addition to its effect on labile emotionality. 

October 2016 - Antisense Patent for the Treatment of Familial ALS

The United States Patent Office issued a key patent that describes the development of a novel therapy for a treatment of one form of familial ALS. The Center was instrumental in conceptualizing this method of treating ALS and similar ailments. The multi-year effort to demonstrate the utility of this approach was undertaken in collaboration with Ionis Pharmaceutical Corporation and the University of California, San Diego. Currently, BioGen Pharmaceuticals is conducting a Phase I study to test the safety and pharmacologic parameters of this drug in a group of ALS patients with a mutation that affects the function of an enzyme that has been associated with one form of ALS. The patent can be found here.

September 2016 - Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation Grand Rounds

On September 28, 2016, Dr. Smith presented Grand Rounds at Scripps. He discussed his work on the development of therapeutics for the treatment of neurologic disease. 

November 2015 

Publication of ALS: Is the Spinal Fluid Pathway Involved in Seeding and Spread? in Medical Hypotheses, 85(5), 576-583.

Dr. Smith, along with colleagues John Ravits (UCSD) and Robert Bowser (Barrows Neurologic Institute), recently authored a paper that advanced the idea that the spinal fluid pathway may play a key role in the development and spread of ALS. The article was published in Medical Hypotheses and can be found here.

Nuedexta Treatment Trial

CNS is pleased to report that the recently completed Nuedexta ALS treatment trial was a resounding success. The nationwide study, conducted at seven NEALS research sites, convincingly demonstrated that Nuedexta can enhance speech and swallowing in ALS patients and facilitate their ability to control their oral secretions. The results of the trial will be presented at the upcoming International ALS meeting. 

April 2015 - Asia Pacific ALS Meeting

Dr. Smith was the keynote speaker at the Asia Pacific ALS meeting, spoke at Taiwan University's College of Pharmacy, and later also at the Department of Neurology Grand Rounds regarding his work on ALS. 


February 2015 - Packard Symposium at John Hopkins

At the Packard Symposium sponsored by Johns Hopkins, Dr. Smith discussed the preliminary results from the ongoing Nuedexta treatment trials as it relates to the assessment of bulbar function in ALS trials

January 2015 - California ALS Summit: Gladstone Institute at San Francisco

At the California ALS Summit held at the Gladstone Institute in San Francisco, Dr. Smith served on a panel that focused on translational medicine and presented an overview of his work on the assessment of speech and swallowing in ALS trials. 

October 2014 - Assessment of Bulbar Function in ALS 

Dr. Smith discussed the assessment of bulbar function in ALS clinical trials at Biogen Pharmaceuticals (Boston), at the ALS Investigator Research Workshop sponsored by ALSA (Philadelphia), and again in Clearwater, Florida at the NEALS annual meeting.

September 15, 2014 - Nuedexta Positive Clinical Trial Results

Avanir Pharmaceuticals reported that Nuedexta, a drug discovered at CNS, showed positive clinical results in treating agitation for patients with Alzheimer's disease. For more information, click here.

Highlight of the Year: Essey Award

The highlight of the year was the presentation of an Essey Award in Los Angeles on June 5th to Dr. Smith, Dr. Cleveland, and Dr. Bennett for their work on the development of antisense therapeutics as a potential treatment for Amyothropic Lateral Sclerosis. This award was given by the Golden West Chapter for the ALS Association. The link to the film produced by Patrick McMinn can be accessed here and for more information, click here.

May 8, 2014 - Controversies in Neurology

Dr. Smith and his colleagues (Dr. John Ravits and Dr. Robert Bowser) presented a novel idea regarding the onset and spread of ALS within the nervous system at CoNY. The meeting, held in Berlin on May 8-11, focused on controversies in neurology. Following this, at the invitation of Dr. Vicenzo Silani, Dr. Smith spoke at the University of Milan.

April 25, 2014 - Fletcher Allen Health Care Center

Dr. Smith spoke at the Fletcher Allen Health Care Center at the University of Vermont. 

Subsequently, Dr. Smith presented data obtained from the baseline visit of patients enrolled in the Nuedexta Bulbar Function treatment trial at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology.  As of May 2nd, 43 persons out of a planned enrollment of 60 were enrolled in the nationwide treatment trial that is being conducted at seven ALS centers.

January 2014 - California ALS Research Summit

Dr. Smith served as a panel member for a session at the 2014 California ALS Research Summit that focused on the treatment of ALS with antisense therapeutics. Furthermore, he presented a brief overview of a hypothesis regarding the spread of ALS within the nervous system. For more information about the ALS Summit, click here.

Ending 2013 - Final News

As a finale for 2013, CNS was privileged to be included in a manuscript that was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. This work, spearheaded by Dr. Brian Kaspar, demonstrated in-vitro that supportive cells in the brain (astrocytes) are toxic to motor neurons, thus creating an ideal test tube model of ALS. This study should greatly facilitate research into the cause and treatment of ALS.

December 2013 - International ALS Meeting in Milan

Drs. Smith, Ravits, and Bowser presented a poster at the International ALS meeting in Milan. The presentation summarized the evidence for a novel theory about the progression of sporadic ALS which is currently thought to spread from cell to cell. Dr. Smith and his colleagues propose the initial spread of the disease may occur via the spinal fluid pathway. The following week, Dr. Smith spoke at the International Clinical Research Center in Brno, Czech Republic. 


September 2013 - Instituto de Biologica y Medicina Experimental a

On September 27, Dr. Smith spoke at the Instituto de Biologica y Medicina Experimental in Buenos Aires, Argentina. And on October 3rd, he made a brief presentation at the Annual NEALS Conference in Clearwater, Florida regarding an ongoing Treatment Trial that is testing the effect of Nuedexta on speech and swallowing in patients with ALS. This is funded by the ALS Association with additional support provided by NEALS and the Massachusetts General Hospital from funds donated by a patient.

Nuedexta Developed

Nuedexta®, a drug discovered at CNS and developed by Avanir Pharmaceuticals, Inc., was approved for sale in the European market in June. For more information about this exciting news, visit here

April 2013 - Meeting Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking: In April 2013, Dr. Hawking visited San Diego to pay tribute to a former classmate and benefactor for his research. During his brief stay in San Diego, Dr. Smith was able to followup a meeting that he had with Dr Hawking in Cambridge, in 1991. At that time Dr Hawking agreed to write the Prologue for "Handbook of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis," that Dr Smith edited. The book was published a year later but Dr. Hawking had not seen it. Further, at their initial meeting, Dr. Hawking asked if Dr. Smith was aware of a cure for ALS.  Thinking that both the book and a recent paper authored by Dr. Smith and his colleagues regarding a therapeutic strategy for treating ALS, would be of interest to Dr. Hawking the organizers of the visit agreed to arrange the meeting which took place April 13.  The Prologue, for which we have provided a link, is an inspiring document written by one of the great minds of the 20th & 21st Century. Click here to read it.

Nuedexta Bulbar Function Study Updates

First patient has been enrolled in the Nuedexta Bulbar Function Study in Providence ALS Center in Portland, Oregon. To see more information about this study, click here. (Nuedexta is a drug developed at CNS and distributed by Avanir)

Nuedexta Recommendation by the European Medicines Agency

Nuedexta gets a positive recommendation from the European Medicines Agency for the treatment of Psuedobulbar effect in patients living in Europe. The article can be found here

Dr. Smith quoted in recent article in the Alzheimer Research Forum about using stem cell-based screening method to model ALS.

Lancet Neurology - Landmark Paper Published

Lancet Neurology publishes landmark paper of a potential therapy for ALS developed in collaboration with UCSD and Isis Pharmaceutical Co: "An Antisense Oligonucleotide against SOD1 Delivered Intrathecally for patients with  SOD1-Familial Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: a phase 1, randomised, first-in man study"

February 2012 - CNS Milestone

On February 7th 2012 we experienced a CNS milestone. Dr. Smith counseled an ALS patient in Guatemala using Skype. If you think you would benefit from speaking with one of our staff please email us at cnsonline@ymail.com

October 2012 - Speaking at CHAO Brain Center at Methodist Hospital

Dr. Smith spoke in Houston on Monday, October 22nd 2012 at the invitation of Dr. Stan Appel, Director of the CHAO brain center at Methodist Hospital.

Nuedexta on People Magazine

Nuedexta, a drug originally developed at CNS, was advertised on the cover of July issue of People Magazine

Speaking at NEALS, Cedar Sinai, and John Hopkins

At the invitation of ALS Association and NEALS Dr. Smith discussed the scientific basis for an upcoming ALS clinical trial in a webinar entitled, "Determining the Effect of Neudexta on Speech and Swallowing in ALS: A Multicenter Trial"     
Click here for more information
Dr. Smith spoke at Cedar-Sinai in Los Angeles on Feb 17, 2012 and at the Packard conference in John Hopkins on March 8th, 2012.

FDA Approves Nuedexta

FDA approves Nuedexta which was discovered at CNS and developed by Avanir pharmaceutical corporation.

On Nov 5, 2011 Dr Smith spoke at Neurology grand rounds at Stanford.

At the California ALS Summit, held in San Francisco June 27-28, 2011, Dr. Smith gave a talk entitled "The ALS phenotype: lost in translation" and chaired a session dealing with molecular therapy for ALS

In March 2010 Dr. Smith gave a series of lectures at UFM in Guatemala city and on April 14th, 2010 spoke at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Neurology

Family and friends of Tom Shey established a fund to support ALS research. Thus far over $6,000 has been contributed.

Isis pharmaceutical corporation organized a meeting in Boston in December 2009 to launch a Familial ALS trial that utilizes a drug developed with UCSD and CNS. See publications.  

In November 2009 Dr Smith spoke at Shanghai University Medical School and the World Congress of Neurology in Bangkok

April 16th, 2009  Dr Smith spoke at the University of California Medical School, Davis. His presentation, entitled Targeted Therapies for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, was delivered at Grand Rounds sponsored by the Department of Neurology

Dr. Smith presented "Advances in Understanding and Treating ALS" at 5:45 pm on March 17,2008 at the Muscular Dystrophy Association office in San Diego, CA.

Dr Licht headeda Gene Therapy Trial with the goal of slowing or reversing nerve damage associated with diabetes. The nationwide study is sponsored by Sangamo BioSciences.

UCSD and CNS receive million dollar plus grant to develop a therapy for familial ALS. The award was made by the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

February 2007- Article published in "Clinical Neuroscience" detailing the state of Pseudobulbar affect therapeutics available. Available here

Dr Smith participated in the Mount Sinai neuromuscular symposium, March 31, 2007 in New York and the 2nd International Research Workshop on Frontotemporal Dementia, June 10-13,2007. In July he will speak at Scripps research institute.

Dr Smith made several presentations and co-chaired a session at the International ALS meeting, Yokahama, Japan Nov 30-Dec 2, 2006.

Dr. Smith and colleague Dr. Donald Cleveland were interviewed about ALS on August 7, 2006 on PBS morning radio show "These Days". To hear this interview, go to KPBS (80.5 FM) at 9:40am on Monday.

Research conducted at CNS has been published in the Journal of Clinical Investigation and Expert Opinion, in Aug and Dec of 2006