The Fight Against ALS
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gherig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord, which eventually leads to respiratory failure and death.
Early symptoms of ALS can be very subtle:
- muscle stiffness
- general weakness
- slurred speech
- difficulty chewing or swallowing
A Timeline of ALS
- 1881 – ALS first recognized as a nervous system disease.
- 1936 – Lou Gherig retires due to ALS, which claims his life two years later.
- 2014 – The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge goes viral to spread awareness of the disease.
55 is the average age of ALS patients at diagnosis.
After diagnosis, the Life expectancy of ALS patients is 2 to 5 years.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has raised $100 million and counting since late July 2014.
Facts About ALS
- ALS is not contagious.
- ALS has no racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundary.
- As many as 30,000 Americans may have ALS at any given time.
- Riluzole is the only drug that is FDA approved to treat ALS. It typically slows the disease by a few months.