Awareness is a key component in the fight to find a cure for ALS. I created this page so that I could have a fact-sheet about ALS that would be easy for people to share. Please do that: please share the information on this page. Share this page on Facebook, link to it on Twitter, or copy and paste in an email to your family and friends. Please help to spread awareness.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is also known as Motor Neuron Disease (MND) and as Lou Gehrig's disease.
- ALS causes the brain to lose its connection to the muscles in the patient's body.
- Without a connection to the brain, patients cannot move their muscles, and their muscles begin to twitch and then waste away or atrophy.
- Progressed ALS patients are left unable to move their bodies. Eating and breathing functions also shut down.
- There is no known cause of ALS. There is no known cure.
- Doctors are still trying to understand the processes of ALS in the body.
- There is only one FDA approved drug to treat ALS, it only extends life 3-6 months.
- Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 75, with the majority after age 60, although it can occur at a younger age.
- About 50 percent of ALS patients live at least two years after diagnosis
- Only 20 percent of ALS patients live five years or more and up to 10 percent survive more than 10 years.
- The British astro-physicist Stephen Hawking has had ALS for nearly 50 years, and is the only person known to live so long with the disease.
- ALS is relatively rare; the incidence is roughly 2 people per 100,000 per year.
- ALS occurs throughout the world with no obvious racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries (Source: www.alscenter.org)
Two major organizations work to raise funds for research and patient care; the ALS Association, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Both organizations have regional chapters that hold fundraising events. Find your local chapter by visiting www.alsa.org
. (ALSA gave me a grant to offset the cost of my eye controlled computer, and the MDA loaned me my powered wheelchair)