What is ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes muscle weakness, paralysis, and ultimately, respiratory failure.
You’ve still got lots more to learn. But before you do, we’d like to ask for your help. Because wider awareness about ALS is great, but what we really need is money. Please donate here and help us Rewrite The End of ALS. Then, come back for the rest of the answers to all of your questions about the disease.
What are the effects of ALS?
ALS attacks certain cells in the brain and the spinal cord needed to keep our muscles moving. Early signs and symptoms of ALS include muscle cramps and twitching, weakness in the extremities and difficulty speaking or swallowing. As the disease progresses, though, it is characterized by:
The inability to move any part of your body
The inability to speak or communicate with anything but your eyes
Complete reliance on a feeding tube for nutrition
The senses, including hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch, are not affected by ALS. In most cases, people with ALS do not experience difficulties in bowel, bladder or sexual function.
Why is it important that you act now?
Hopefully, you already have. If not, all you have to do is go here. Because there are an estimated 450,000 people worldwide living with ALS. Every 90 minutes, someone else is diagnosed. But most people with ALS only live 2-5 years after their first signs of disease. In order to help those who already have the disease, there is no time to waste.
How is ALS treated?
Currently, there is only a single medicine for specifically treating ALS – riluzole. And even this drug, marketed by Sanofi-Aventis under the name Rilutek, only extends survival about 2 to 3 months. So there is currently an urgent, unmet medical need for effective treatments for this devastating and fatal disease. That’s why we need you
Who is already acting?
ALS.net was born from the realization that something was needed to bring people together with a common goal to fund the research necessary to slow and stop ALS. With a deliberate focus on funding the ALS Therapy Development Institute–an established ALS research organization 100% committed to finding effective treatments and a cure–ALS.net is an effort to unite people wanting to make a difference in the lives of those battling ALS. A Life Story Foundation is a leading Global Affiliate of ALS.net