ALS shares fundamental clinical, genetic, and neuropathologic links with frontotemporal dementia (FTD), another neurodegenerative disorder. The presence of FTD symptoms in people with ALS creates challenges for clinical trials because the cognitive changes caused by FTD prevent reliable ALS motor outcome scores, and the muscle weakness caused by ALS affects cognitive testing for FTD. Therefore, there is an urgent need for biomarkers that can objectively demonstrate the effect of drugs that are being developed for ALS and FTD.
Dr. Chew’s goal is to identify a biomarker of cognitive dysfunction in ALS in order to be able to identify and trace the effectiveness of drugs in ALS and ALS-FTD clinical trials.
This research is funded by The ALS Association and the American Brain Foundation, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology. Dr. Chew is an Instructor in Neurology at Johns Hopkins University.