BOSTON — A team of researchers have pinpointed a new gene associated with the development of a debilitating neurological disease.

The researchers, including some at UMass Medical School, say the discovery of gene KIF5A advances scientists’ knowledge of what causes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).

ALS patients eventually lose the ability to control muscle movement.

Patients found with the KIF5A mutation are exhibiting a longer survival period of about 10 years. Most people becoming paralyzed or die within five years of diagnosis.

The study was originally published in neuroscience journal Neuron Wednesday.