Christa Lorenz ALS Research Prize 2010

Presentation of the Christa Lorenz ALS Research Prize

This year’s Christa Lorenz ALS Research Prize awarded by the Foundation for Medical Science in Frankfurt am Main for outstanding original scientific work on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) was presented to Professor Dr. Manuela Claudia Neumann from the University Hospital of Zurich.

The award-winner, Professor Dr. Manuela Claudia Neumann, born 1969, works as Assistant Professor of Experimental Neuropathology and Senior Physician in the Institute for Neuropathology at the University Hospital of Zurich. Her areas of scientific specialization include the molecular neuropathology of neurodegenerative diseases with the focus on frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease.

Amoytrophic lateral sclerosis (amyotrophy = muscular atrophy, lateral = of the side and sclerosis = hardening, meaning the destruction of motor nerves in the spinal cord) is a chronic disease of the nervous system. The progressive damage to nerve cells results in muscle paralysis which leads to movement, speech and swallowing disorders that increasingly restrict the sufferer’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. The disease is incurable, as the reasons for its emergence are still unknown. The therapeutic options available today can, however, contribute to alleviating the symptoms.

The 15,000 euro Christa Lorenz ALS Research Prize, which is awarded by the Foundation for Medical Science headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, was conferred for the second time. It was first awarded in September 2009 in Magdeburg during the Dementia Clinic Day. This year’s presentation took place in Magdeburg on 2 October 2010 as part of the “Neurology Twofold 2010: dementia and multiple sclerosis” advanced training event organized by the University of Magdeburg’s Department of Neurology. The professor received the award for her studies into the identification and genetic characterization of a new disease-relevant key protein (FUS) in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD).

The winner was congratulated by Professor Dr. Stefan Vielhaber, chief senior physician and deputy department director of the Department of Neurology in Magdeburg and scientific advisor on the foundation’s board.

The Foundation for Medical Science Frankfurt am Main was founded in 1999 by Christa Lorenz, who herself suffered from and died as a result of ALS. The aim of the foundation is to promote research and knowledge of this neurodegenerative disease, which is also considered to be a model disease for other age-related diseases with selective cell death such as dementias.