Since 2005, a high-profile group of ALS researchers from both North America and Europe have been discussing ways to better use preclinical models of ALS. These discussions led to a meeting in the Netherlands in 2006 and the first jointly published proposed guidelines in 2007. However, the conversation did not end there. ALS TDI published a comprehensive report in January 2008 based on its independent analysis of the SOD1 mouse model (Scott, et.al, 2008, ALS Vol.9, No. 1, pages 4-15). In 2009, the consortium of ALS researchers met again, this time at Reisensberg, Germany, to discuss problems and solutions in pre-clinical drug discovery for ALS. These discussions resulted in updated, comprehensive, and internationally developed recommendations for conducting preclinical research using current and future models of ALS. These guidelines were published in the peer-reviewed journal Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and were dedicated to Sean Forrester Scott, former president of ALS TDI and first author of the comprehensive report by the Institute characterizing the SOD1 mouse model. Sean, whose family carries a mutated form of the SOD1 gene, lost his own battle against ALS on February 9, 2009.
Albert Ludolf of the Department of Neurology at the University of Ulm in Germany headed up the group, which consisted of more than a dozen researchers from nine different countries spanning two continents. In additional to Ludolf, the group included: Caterina Bendotti, Eran Blaugrund, Adriano Chio, Linda Greensmith, Jean-Philippe Loeffler, Richard Mead , Heiko G. Niessen, Susanne Petri, Pierre-Francois Pradat, Wim Robberecht, Markus Ruegg , Birgit Schwalenstöcker, Detlev Stiller, Leonard van den Berg, Fernando Vieira, and Stephan von Horsten.
The full text of this first of its kind collaborative publication is available free of charge online at the ALS Journal’s homepage via this link: http://informahealthcare.com/toc/aml/11/1-2. Please also see the practical preclinical manual for working with SOD1 mice issued by Prize4Life and The Jackson Laboratories here.
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