The ALS Centre at GF Strong is a trans-disciplinary entity providing clinical services to affected patients and their families from throughout BC. Staff in the centre is also involved in teaching residents and fellows, as well as doing clinical and basic research. The ALS Centre is staffed by three neurologist physician-scientists (Drs. Briemberg, Cashman and Krieger), a physiatrist (Dr. Travlos), and a specialized nurse coordinator, as well as the highly trained ALS Team at GF Strong, providing social work, physio- and occupational therapy, speech language assessment and therapy, and dietary guidance. The ALS Society of BC (ALSBC) and the ALS Centre have consolidated an innovative partnership to provide a successful outreach clinic program for areas of the province difficult to reach for disabled patients. Outreach clinics in 2011 included Victoria, Kelowna, and Nanaimo.
Three major scientific programs are being conducted at the ALS Centre.
- Dr. Briemberg leads clinical trials for the ALS Centre, in collaboration with other team members and with the encouragement and financial assistance of ALSBC. We are currently involved in a Stage 3 clinical trial of Dexpramipexole in ALS.
- Dr. Krieger’s CIHR-supported basic scientific program at Simon Fraser University is focused on the engraftment of stem cells in the affected CNS of mouse models of ALS, with collaboration from Fabio Rossi at the UBC Biomedical Research Centre.
- Dr. Cashman is a Canada Research Chair in Neurodegeneration and Protein Misfolding Diseases at the UBC Brain Research Centre. With support from CIHR, CFI, BCKDF, industry and private donations, Dr. Cashman is conducting basic research on propagated protein misfolding in ALS, defining new targets for effective therapeutics and diagnostics for the disease.
- Dr. Briemberg
- Dr. Cashman
- Dr. Krieger
- Dr. Travlos