ALS

AND HOW YOU CAN HELP PREVENT IT

Lou Gehrig's Disease, or ALS, kills two out of one hundred thousand people each year.  It is approximated that 5,600 people in the US are diagnosed with ALS each year, and that as many as 30,000 Americans could have the disease at any given time.

ALS stands for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The word "amyotrophic" in itself describes the disease. From the Greek language, "a-" means without, "-myo-" is muscle, and "-trophic" stands for nourishment – together it is a body "without muscle nourishment." When a muscle has no nourishment, it wastes away. That's what Lou Gehrig's Disease does. It negatively affects the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, ruining the victim's control over their voluntary muscles. This disease also alters the victim's behavior, making them lack a "filter" that allows actions forego a conscious decision to follow through with the action. They become childlike, inappropriate, and altogether unlike themselves. They cannot think before acting and all thoughts seem to become useless.

There is no known cause nor cure for ALS. However, you - yes, YOU - can help these poor victims of a fierce and relentless disease. Campaigns for funding research for the disease have swept the nation before - perhaps you remember the Ice Bucket Challenge?

The Ice Bucket Challenge alone raised four million dollars for the support of research for Lou Gehrig's Disease.

With financial help, some treatments have been found to help. Though there is no cure, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved a drug that slows down the effects of the disease: riluzole (Rilutek). Riluzole helps reduce damage to motor neurons.

Important people, their faces recognized and beloved by many, are stricken with the disease.

Stephen Hawking is just one among many. Please help these victims of the merciless disease, the nefarious ALS - Lou Gehrig's Disease.

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