The truth is that the ALS community needs all the help it can get. Not just during ALS Awareness Month in May, but 365 days a year.
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Fact: There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed. Hopefully one day soon every patient’s symptoms will be reversed, and ALS itself erased from the planet. But we need your help.
Greater than 50% of all persons with living with ALS survive more than 3 years after diagnosis.
No single laboratory test or procedure can establish the diagnosis of Lou Gehrig’s disease. The patient’s medical history, physical examination, and neurological examination are usually sufficient to suggest the diagnosis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). However, it is still important to conduct a full investigation to exclude other conditions and to permit a detailed understanding of the areas involved by the disease.
Clearly the ALS community still has a long way to go to finding a cure, or even effective treatment options. And that’s also why fundraising is such an important part of what we do here at the RASCALS Foundation.
Physical therapy and special equipment can enhance patients’ independence and safety throughout the course of ALS.
Riluzole, the first treatment to alter the course of ALS, was approved by the FDA in late 1995. This antiglutamate drug was shown scientifically to prolong the life of persons with ALS by at least a few months.
Lou Gehrig’s disease eventually affects total body movement, as well as speech, swallowing and breathing. ALS ultimately results in a total body paralysis, inability to speak, inability to eat or drink by mouth, and inability to breathe unassisted. Finally there is simply an inability to breathe.
Approximately 14 cases of ALS are diagnosed each day nationwide. Most of those who develop the disease are between 40 and 70 years of age. At any given time, approximately 30,000 people in the United States are living with the disease. It is frequently Caucasians who are diagnosed, though it is not limited to the Caucasian population. It’s been said that 60% of all ALS cases are males. There is a 1 in 100,000 chance of it striking the same family twice, and it does strike some families twice.
In some circles, motor neuron disease is used interchangeably with Lou Gehrig’s disease, however ALS is only one recognized subtype of MND.