Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Disease Center

Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Disease Center

Support groundbreaking research and clinical trials to give ALS patients a better quality of life.

Donate to ALS Research and Treatment

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive neuro-degenerative disease that affects the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscles.

As the disease progresses, neurons degenerate and muscles weaken and waste away, causing patients to lose strength and mobility throughout their bodies. Over time, patients lose the ability to speak, swallow and breathe. The disease typically leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis.

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Did you know?

0 More than 20,000 Americans have ALS
0 More than 5,000 people are diagnosed each year
0 Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with ALS
Patients with ALS receive compassionate care from leading Barrow physicians

Empowering ALS Patients

The Gregory W. Fulton ALS and Neuromuscular Disease Center was founded to improve both patient care and research for neuromuscular disorders, including:

  • ALS
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Myositis
  • Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy
ALS researchers at Barrow looking at treatments

Compassionate Clinical Care

The clinic is a model for offering comprehensive care within a single center, giving convenience to patients and their family members and providing them with access to advanced clinical trials and promising research.

“The center is essentially a one-stop location for patients to receive all of their ALS care,” says Shafeeq Ladha, MD, director of the center and the Ira A. and Mary Lou Fulton chair in motor neuron disease. “It’s hard for people with ALS to travel, so having to go to different places for treatment has a big impact on their quality of life.”


Your Donations Help Leading ALS Scientists Perform Pioneering Research

Scientists don’t yet know what causes ALS, and there is no cure. There is just one FDA-approved medication that slows disease progression and it is only marginally effective.

Barrow ALS researchers, led by Robert Bowser, PhD, are part of an international team that discovered a new gene mutation associated with ALS. The discovery that mutations in the Matrin 3 gene cause some cases of familial ALS is expected to open the door to new therapies for this neurodegenerative disease.

“Every gene we find takes us a step closer to uncovering why people develop this dreaded disease,” says Bowser, who is the research director and the John and Betty VanDenburgh chair in neuromuscular disease at the center.

Help Us Discover the ALS Treatments of Tomorrow

Researchers at Barrow aim to answer: Why do some people develop ALS while others don’t? And why are treatment options more effective for some individuals than they are for others?

Much of the center’s clinical research focuses on the discovery of biomarkers. Identifying these markers will allow for a personalized approach to ALS treatment based on each person’s genetic or biochemical makeup.

Barrow scientists are inventive, driven and proud to pursue this research because they know it will improve outcomes for patients. See what we achieved in the last fiscal year by downloading the Impact Report below.


Hear From Our Patients

Grateful Barrow patients share how the ALS team helped empower them while fighting the disease.

Research Advancements

Drug Studies

Brad Racette, MD, Chair of Neurology at Barrow, is investigating existing drugs that align with a lower risk of ALS. In preclinical studies, Dr. Racette and his team discovered that the drug lovastatin preserved motor neurons, delayed symptom onset, and prolonged survival.

Gene Therapy

David Medina, PhD, is studying the use of gene therapy to protect motor neurons in ALS. He is developing a more tissue-specific, long-lasting therapeutic for increased retinoid signaling, which has shown to improve ALS symptoms and slow disease progression.

Neuroimaging Biomarkers

Nadine Bakkar, PhD, is collaborating with neuroimaging scientist Ashley Stokes, PhD, to study advanced neuroimaging biomarkers and molecular biomarkers that may reveal underlying factors that contribute to ALS.

FDA Approval

Shafeeq Ladha, MD, had a critical role in studies that led to the FDA’s approval of a new drug to treat a genetic form of ALS. The new drug, tofersen, is one of only a few treatments available to help slow the progression of the disease.