Pavement Pounder to Fight ALS Logo Pound the Pavement to Fight ALS 5K Run ALS Association
June 12, 2010 - 1st Anual
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  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), more commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a devastating neuromuscular disease with no known cause or cure. Each year in the United States, approximately 5,600 people (or 15 people a day) are diagnosed with ALS, the majority of which are men.

    ALS is a progressive disease, affecting the motor neurons extending from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the body’s muscles. ALS causes these motor neurons to degenerate, impairing the body’s ability to send signals from the brain to the muscles that are needed for movement. As the motor neurons degenerate and die, little to no signals reach the muscles, which begin to weaken or atrophy.

    Although the course of symptoms and the rate of progression may vary, patients generally suffer from worsening muscle weakness and paralysis. As paralysis extends throughout the body and ultimately affects the trunk, essential abilities such as speech, swallowing, chewing, and breathing are impaired. Once breathing is affected, patients require permanent ventilator support to survive. 
    There is no cure for ALS. Although there is one FDA approved drug (Rilutek®) that may slow the progression of ALS, the mean survival time for patients is only three to five years. To support families living with this disease, and to one day prevent all from experiencing the devastating effects of ALS, further research to discover new treatments and a cure is critical.  

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