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A genome-wide association study of people with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and healthy controls, replicated in two independent populations, found 10 genes associated with the disease in all three studied populations and another 41 genes associated with the disease in two populations.
The most significant association was found for FLJ10986, a thus far uncharacterised gene on chromosome 1. The protein that the gene encodes was found in spinal cord and non-neural specimens of people with and without amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The linked editorial (p 822) is hopeful that this might lead to a new approach to treating the disease, but also says that, for now, genomic studies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis raise more questions than they answer.