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AAN Foundation Honors Massachusetts Researcher for ALS Gene Research

Anne-Marie A. Wills, MD, Receives 2007 AAN Foundation/ALS Clinician Scientist Development Fellowship

ST. PAUL, Minn – The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Foundation is awarding the 2007 AAN Foundation/ALS Clinician Scientist Development Fellowship to Anne-Marie A. Wills, MD, with Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, for her work paraoxonase 1, a gene that increases the risk of developing ALS. Wills will receive the award during the American Academy of Neurology's 59th Annual Meeting in Boston, held April 28-May 5, 2007. The AAN Foundation/ALS Clinician Scientist Development Fellowship is designed to encourage ALS clinical research with the goal of providing better treatment, prevention or cure for the disorder. Wills’ grant proposed a large collaborative study of this gene’s function and the byproducts of its activity in blood, cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) and autopsied spinal cord tissue in people with and without ALS. She has recently completed a study of blood and CSF samples from 158 people with ALS and 158 people without ALS. "Our overarching goal is to determine whether modifying this gene will affect ALS susceptibility and disease progression and also help identify people with an increased risk of developing this disease," said Willis. The fellowship also provides tuition reimbursement for education in clinical research methodology. The fellowship is supported by the AAN Foundation Corporate Roundtable. The 59th Annual Meeting takes place in the Hynes Convention Center. It is the world’s largest annual gathering of neurologists.

The American Academy of Neurology Foundation works with the American Academy of Neurology to support education and research for the prevention, treatment and cure of neurologic disorders. The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 20,000 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to improving patient care through education and research. A neurologist is a doctor with specialized training in diagnosing, treating and managing disorders of the brain and nervous system such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and stroke. For more information, visit

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