For over a decade, researchers and scientists have been relying on the ALS Therapy Alliance’s expertise and funding to advance their studies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease. 2015 marks the 14th year of our annual Breakthrough ALS fundraising campaign (formerly known as Researching a Cure).
The ALS Therapy Alliance’s ongoing grant award process is overseen by the organization’s board of award-winning researchers and scientists, as well as corporate executives and individuals who strive to learn more about the neurodegenerative disease, its cause and possible cure.
The organization has raised more than $30 million over the past 13 years thanks to its partnership with CVS/pharmacy.
The ALS Therapy Alliance is designated by the IRS as a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization.
Points of Interest
The ALS Therapy Alliance (ATA) was established in 2000 to facilitate ALS research projects and collaborations among a diverse group of scientists and clinicians at multiple institutions to cure ALS. This represents a unique collaborative enterprise that spans multiple laboratories, universities and disciplines.
The ALS Therapy Alliance is fortunate to have a Board of Directors comprised of talented clinicians, scientists and business associates who are committed to the organization’s mission.
Ongoing research is being conducted in the fight against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) by our team of clinicians, doctors and scientists at top hospitals and universities.
There are many ways you can help support the research being conducted by the ALS Therapy Alliance to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), otherwise known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
What is ALS?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset disease that usually begins between the ages of 40 and 70. Men and women of all ethnic and racial groups are generally affected equally, but the cause is unknown.
There is no single diagnostic test for ALS, and as a result, the diagnosis is often delayed. Several tests must be conducted to exclude the possibility of other similar, but treatable, diseases.
ALS: what it is and what the name really means
ALS is a rapidly progressing neurological disorder in which most motor neurons in the spinal cord and brain degenerate, typically over three to five years. When the motor nerve cells degenerate, many types of voluntary movement are impaired and ultimately lost.
The name amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is Greek in origin. A means “no” or “negative,” myo refers to muscle, and trophic stands for nourishment. So, amyotrophic means “no muscle nourishment.” Lateral sclerosis refers to the fact that the sides of the spinal cord appear scarred, or sclerosed, in late-stage ALS.
ALS: the initial onset and symptoms
Initially, symptoms of ALS may include isolated muscle weakness, muscle twitching, cramping and stiffness of muscles, unusual fatigue and clumsiness, or difficulty swallowing and speaking.
Although the sequence of emerging symptoms and the progression rate for the disease differ from person to person, most muscle in a person with ALS will ultimately weaken and become paralyzed.
Many functions other than movement are spared in ALS. For example, a patient’s thinking ability, bladder and bowel function, sexual function, sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch are unaffected. When the muscles in the diaphragm and chest wall fail, patients cannot breathe and most will die from respiratory failure, usually three to five years after the symptoms begin. Fortunately, there are excellent respiratory support systems to forestall this problem.
ALS: the real cause remains a mystery
The cause of most cases of ALS is unknown. About 10% of cases run in families, and in some of these cases there are defined genetic defects that are known to trigger the disease. For example, some familial cases arise because of mutations in a gene that makes a free radical absorbing protein, known as superoxide dismutase (SOD1). Other cases arise because of mutations in genes (called FUS/TLS and TDP43) that make proteins that bind to a genetic material in cells known as RNA.
Experiences have shown that an ALS patient can feel better if he gets a regular massage, if it’s not possible to reach a massage parlour or spa regularly, then a massage chair is recommended in such cases. But you should also consult your doctor before using a massage chair.
Another gene implicated in familial ALS makes a protein called angiogenin. The causes of non-familial ALS are not defined. We do know that in both familial and non-familial ALS, several factors seem to play a role in motor neuron degeneration, including high levels of the neurotransmitter glutamate, exposure to adverse environmental factors such as infections or poisons, insufficient energy generation by brain cells, inflammation in the spinal cord, and slowing of the transport of substances in long neuron processes known as axons.
ALS: new treatments are being developed
There is no cure for ALS. A single drug called riluzole is approved for use in ALS, but at best it modestly slows the disease. ALS Therapy Alliance researchers are dedicated to discovering new treatments for ALS. Several experimental drugs are in trials and in development in ALS research laboratories.
Though they are not ALS specific, and there are no therapies that slow the basic process of degeneration of motor nerves, other treatments, such as feeding and breathing aids, relieve some of the symptoms of ALS. In addition, some drugs are helpful for problems like fatigue, muscle cramps, depression and sleep disturbance.
Latest Review Posts
Being a big man is not a problem. The problem arises when you fail to find the right chair for your personal use. Many heavyweight … Read more
Massage chairs are ideal for those who don’t have the time or are not able to go to the massage centers daily to get recovered … Read more
Driving is fun, and there is no doubt about that. But it is only fun when the roads are smooth and free from traffic. When … Read more
Bed frames with storage space are ideal for those who live in small apartments where you don’t have enough space to accommodate all of your … Read more
No matter whether you prefer sleeping on your right side or left side, if your mattress doesn’t support side sleeping then surely your nights are … Read more
If you are an overweight person, then you might have suffered a lot because of not finding the right chair every time to sit easily … Read more
Buying the right bed frame is as essential as purchasing the right mattress. Both the bed and the mattress help you in sleeping comfortably at … Read more
Plus-sized people tend to lead different lives than the rest of us. Most objects that we don’t give a second thought to aren’t built to … Read more
If you have kids, you should consider getting a bunk bed. This will help you save space and give your kids some privacy too. It … Read more
Buying a lawn chair is quite easy. Just select the best priced, good designed, durable, and a comfortable lawn chair for spending time with your … Read more
Latest Blog Posts
No one is old enough to quit playing games. There are an amazing way to get a break from your regular routine and refresh your … Read more
Water is an amazing creation of nature. It may not have any taste but the way it soothes the human body with its nutrients and … Read more
Pregnancy is the most beautiful phase of a woman’s life. It brings along a lot of happiness, responsibility and significant changes in your life. During … Read more
Every medicine is used to treat a particular condition and has different effects on each patient. Human anatomy is a very complex subject; you can … Read more
Every medicine needs a certain time frame to bring about any change in your body. In the same way, every medicine stays in your system … Read more
When you are prescribed a medicine for a longer period of time, your internal system gets accustomed to it. This is particularly true for antidepressants. … Read more
Are you looking to lose some weight? Have you tried some weight control methods and still failed? If the answer to these questions is in … Read more
Sleep is important for your health. In today’s fast-paced world, managing your sleeping routine has become a very difficult task. Low quality and quantity of … Read more
Do you feel lethargic all day long? Your body still hurts after trying some pain relievers? Do you wonder why this happens even after taking … Read more
The human body is just like a complex machine. If any part of the machine has a problem, the whole of the machine goes down. … Read more
Vasodilation is the process of dilation of blood vessels. Dilated blood vessels are the most critical factor behind increasing blood pressure and heart problems. There … Read more
Bug bites are a very serious problem and can be extra troublesome for people who are prone to allergies and infections. Bites can result in … Read more
The human heart is the most active organ in your body. Apart from it, all the other vital parts of your body get some time … Read more
The human ear is one of the most sensitive parts of our body and performs the most crucial function of hearing. Proper care is needed … Read more
The human stomach is a complex organ. It produces many acids and enzymes that help in digestion of the food you eat. Proper working of … Read more
Headaches are of the most common and problematic body pains you can experience. Headaches can interfere in your routine and limit your productivity. They can … Read more
The human ear is a delicate structure, and it has the essential function of hearing. Without adequately functioning ears, your life can get really difficult. … Read more
Proper urine excretion is a sign of good health. When you notice any changes in your urine, like changes in color and smell for prolonged … Read more
Pain in the chest is of great concern to everyone but not all the chest pains indicate an underlying heart condition. Sometimes there are other … Read more
Your body has various systems and mechanisms in place that ensure a healthy living. The lymphatic system is one of such systems. The lymphatic system … Read more