More than a dozen charity institutions have signed on to help fund a brain research initiative, pledging to contribute up to $100 million to help the institute that developed the treatment for Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a degenerative brain disease that can cause muscle weakness and paralysis.
The initiative is part of a new effort by the brain institute to make a significant contribution to the public good by funding research that improves the quality of life for people with ALS, the brain disorder.
The institute is a private nonprofit organization, and donations are voluntary.
“These new initiatives will give hope to people living with ALS who are currently without treatment,” said Peter Sanger, president of the Alzheimer’s Association, in a statement.
“It is clear that more research will be required to provide better treatments for people living on the spectrum of ALS, and we hope these new initiatives, along with new discoveries, will lead to the development of treatments that can slow or stop the progression of the disease.”
Sanger said that the brain research effort will begin with a small-scale pilot program that will begin in September, and the institute is considering a large-scale plan for a long-term commitment.
The institute has pledged $1.5 million in grants to the Alzheimer Science Foundation, which is working on developing a treatment for amyotrophin deficiency, a genetic disorder that causes weakness in the muscles of the brain that can be caused by a genetic mutation in the gene encoding the protein that makes the protein.
The brain institute is also exploring how it could use the funds to help create a new treatment for a protein in the brain called p-coupled receptor-4, which can be activated by chemicals in the blood, and could also be used to slow or prevent the disease’s progression.
The ALS Association said that it will continue to pursue the research to the best of its ability, and that it is grateful for the contributions from other institutions and charities that have signed up to help.
“We are grateful to the charities that are part of this effort and look forward to a continued and mutually beneficial relationship between our ALS and Alzheimer science communities,” Sanger said.