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.

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 27, 2013 – Dr. Smith spoke at the Instituto de Biologica y Medicina Experimental in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

October 3, 2013 – Dr. Smith 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.