Tie between ALS and Genetic Mutations

When I was about 4 years old, my grandfather died of ALS. My mom told me that after he died, I said that I wanted to research this disease so no other grandfather had to die of it. I hate to admit it, but the older I got, I forgot about this dream of mine. But just today, something reminded me of my dreams of research in ALS. So I researched a little about any discoveries they have made in the treatment/cause of ALS. The first page it brought me to said that they have made a landmark discovery that a genetic abnormality is the likely cause of ALS. They found a short DNA sequence that is repeated many more times in patients than it is on healthy people. The intrigued me because we are studying DNA right now! I read a little further and it appears that the repeated DNA sequence is located on the non-coding region of a gene (the telomere). This however does not make sense to me. Because if it is located on the telomere it shouldn’t really affect the DNA, because it is on the non-coding section. But obviously it still has some affect. It will be interesting to see what comes of this research!