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December 2016

IBM’s Watson helps identify new genes responsible for ALS

IBM Watson Health announced results of a cutting edge study that has identified the genes linked to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The discovery gives ALS researchers new insights that will pave the way for the development of new drug  therapies to combat one of the world’s most devastating and deadly diseases.

IBM Watson became known around the world in 2011 when it competed against human contestants on the TV show Jeopardy, and won.

The clinical trial was conducted in collaboration with Barrow Neurological Institute.

The groundbreaking discovery involved IBM Watson, a cutting-edge form of artificial intelligence, to help understand better the mysteries of the brain and provide scientists with never-before-known data.

What is ALS?
ALS is a progressive and degenerative disease in which the cells that control voluntary muscle movements die, leading to paralysis and, ultimately death. Scientists don’t yet know what causes ALS and there is just one FDA-approved medication but is only marginally effective. Most individuals die from ALS within three to five years from the onset of symptoms. Approximately 6,000 people are diagnosed with ALS every year.

Definition from Mayo Clinic

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