Researchers at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Medicine have developed the first antibody that detects the only known cause of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease. ALS is a progressive and usually fatal neurological disorder that attacks the nerves and muscles. Currently, there is no known cure or effective treatment. The latest findings, published in the online edition of Nature Medicine earlier this year, are significant as they provide the world's first tool for recognizing misfolded conformations of the enzyme superoxide-dimutase-1 (SOD1). Mutations in the gene encoding SOD1 cause approximately 1 percent to 2 percent of all ALS cases.