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Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease associated with the death of motor neurons in the spinal cord and brainstem. The cause of ALS is unknown and there is no cure. This study demonstrates, for the first time, that vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) delays progression of symptoms and prolongs survival in a Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1) transgenic mouse model of ALS. These observations suggest that VEGF or related compounds, might be of value in the treatment of ALS patients. Ann Neurol 2004