New considerations in the design of clinical trials for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

Massachusetts General Hospital, Department of Neurology, Neurology Clinical Trials Unit, 149 Thirteenth Street, Suite 2274, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.
Clinical investigation 10/2011; 1(10):1375-1389. DOI: 10.4155/cli.11.127
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a devastating neurodegenerative disease caused by loss of motor neurons. Its pathophysiology remains unknown, but progress has been made in understanding its genetic and biochemical basis. Clinical trialists are working to translate basic science successes into human trials with more efficiency, in the hope of finding successful treatments. In the future, new preclinical models, including patient-derived stem cells may augment transgenic animal models as preclinical tools. Biomarker discovery projects aim to identify markers of disease onset and progression for use in clinical trials. New trial designs are reducing study time, improving efficiency and helping to keep pace with the increasing rate of basic and translational discoveries. Ongoing trials with novel designs are paving the way for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis clinical research.

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