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EMBARGOED FOR RELEASE UNTIL 6 PM ET, April 13, 2011

AAN Foundation Awards $240,000 Brain Research Award to Massachusetts General Hospital Researcher

HONOLULU – The American Academy of Neurology (AAN) Foundation and The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association (The ALS Association) awarded the AAN Foundation/ALS Clinician-Scientist Development Three-Year Award to Steve Han, MD, PhD. Han, an instructor of neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston was awarded the fellowship for his work to determine whether technology that converts patient skin cells to stem cells can be recreated to further understand ALS. The three-year award will consist of an annual salary of $75,000 plus $5,000 in educational expenses per year to support a clinician scientist's research related to ALS. The fellowship will be presented today during the American Academy of Neurology’s 63rd Annual Meeting in Honolulu, which is the world’s largest meeting of neurologists with more than 10,000 attendees. 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. Clinical research is the fundamental transition stage between discovery and treatment. Clinical research provides the scientific basis for all forms of care, addresses patient and caregiver needs, and is the backbone for drug development and cost-effectiveness studies needed to improve lives. Fellowships provide recipients with up to three years of “protected time” with salary which allows them to continue important research projects in their chosen interests. ALS is a progressive disorder of the nervous system causing weakness in muscles, including those controlling swallowing and breathing. In ALS, nerve cells waste away or die, and can no longer send messages to muscles. This eventually leads to muscle weakening, twitching, and an inability to move the arms, legs, and body. For the majority of people, weakness tends to progress, causing death in three to five years. ALS affects approximately five out of every 100,000 people worldwide and there is currently no known cure for the disorder. The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig’s Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at www.alsa.org or call 800-782-4747.

The American Academy of Neurology, an association of more than 22,500 neurologists and neuroscience professionals, is dedicated to promoting the highest quality patient-centered neurologic care. 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, stroke, migraine, multiple sclerosis, brain injury, ALS, Parkinson’s disease and epilepsy. For more information about the American Academy of Neurology, visit http://www.aan.com. VIDEO: http://www.youtube.com/AANChannel TEXT: http://www.aan.com/press TWEETS: http://www.twitter.com/AANPublic


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