Curiously, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), seemingly disparate neurodegenerative disorders, can be inherited together. Two groups (DeJesus-Hernandez et al. and Renton et al.) show that the long sought after ALS/FTD mutation on chromosomal region 9p is a hexanucleotide expansion in C90RF72. These studies, plus a study on X-linked ALS/FTD, provide molecular starting points for identifying pathways that link ALS and FTD pathogenesis.