Robert G. Miller, M.D. , Scientist; Director of the Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research and Treatment Center at CPMC

California Pacific CURRENTS: The online journal of CPMC Research Institute

Treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • qRT-PCR analysis of upregulated genes

    qRT-PCR analysis of upregulated genes.

    Mean β-actin normalized signals obtained from qRT-PCR of total RNA samples from incubated PBMCs of sALS patients (n = 42, black bars) or age matched healthy controls (n = 35. white bars) for the indicated genes (x-axis). All genes from sALS PBMCs had a p-value < 0.0001 for comparison to mean β-actin normalized signals in PBMCs from healthy individuals.

    Source: Zhang R, Hadlock KG, Do H, Yu S, Honrada R, Champion S, Forshew D, Madison C, Katz J, Miller RG, McGrath MS. Gene expression profiling in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from patients with sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (sALS). J Neuroimmunol 2011; 230(1-2): 114–123.  Published online 2010 September 29. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2010.08.012 (Figure 1a)


  • Gray matter perfusion and disease severity in ALS

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Functional Rating Scale positive correlation with arterial spin labeling (ASL) perfusion (left = ipsilateral)

    Voxels exhibiting increased ASL perfusion with increased number of finger taps. Voxels were only included if they were in clusters of at least 100 voxels (p < 0.001). The images in A project these voxels onto a 3-dimensional rendering of the Montreal Neurological Institute atlas. The images in B display these same data as a maximum intensity projection on a transparent “glass brain.” The dashed lines indicate the extent of the brain that was covered by the ASL perfusion images.

    Source: Rule RR, Schuff N, Miller RG, Weiner MW. Gray matter perfusion correlates with disease severity in ALS. Neurology 2010;74(10):821-7. doi: 10.1212/WNL.0b013e3181d3e2dd. Epub 2010 Feb 10. (Figure 3)


Research Overview

  • Dr. Miller investigates methods to reduce neuroinflammation and slow the progression of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
  • Ongoing clinical studies initiated by Dr. Miller and colleagues at CPMC include trials of various pharmacotherapies that have shown promise in slowing the progression of ALS; device trials; a study of the NeuRX Diaphragm Pacing System to support patients with diaphragm weakness; and observational studies on factors that affect ALS disease progression.
  • In 2014, Dr. Miller and colleagues at CPMC will collaborate with Cedars-Sinai Regenerative Medicine Institute on new stem cell and gene therapy techniques to treat ALS patients.


Dr. Miller received his M.D. from Weill Medical College of Cornell University and completed residencies at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and the University of California, San Diego Medical Center.


Publication Search


Oskarsson B, Moore D, Mozaffar T, Ravits J, Wiedau-Pazos M, Parziale N, Joyce NC, Mandeville R, Goyal N, Cudkowicz ME, Weiss M, Miller RG, McDonald CM, Mexiletine for muscle cramps in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: A randomized, double-blind crossover trial. Muscle Nerve

Miller RG, Appel SH, Introduction to supplement: the current status of treatment for ALS. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener

Lunetta C, Lizio A, Maestri E, Sansone VA, Mora G, Miller RG, Appel SH, Chiò A, Serum C-Reactive Protein as a Prognostic Biomarker in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. JAMA Neurol

Diana A, Pillai R, Bongioanni P, O'Keeffe AG, Miller RG, Moore DH, Gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) modulators for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis/motor neuron disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev

Levine TD, Miller RG, Bradley WG, Moore DH, Saperstein DS, Flynn LE, Katz JS, Forshew DA, Metcalf JS, Banack SA, Cox PA, Phase I clinical trial of safety of L-serine for ALS patients. Amyotroph Lateral Scler Frontotemporal Degener

Robert G. Miller, M.D. , Scientist; Director of the Forbes Norris MDA/ALS Research and Treatment Center at CPMC
Primary Research Interests
  • Treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

ALS Clinical Trials


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