The ALS Project



ALS is a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function


The disease frequently begins in your hands, feet or limbs, and then spreads to other parts of your body. As the disease advances, your muscles become progressively weaker. This weakness eventually affects chewing, swallowing, speaking and breathing. However, ALS doesn't usually affect your bowel or bladder control, your senses, or your thinking ability.


ALS is a disorder that affects the function of nerves and muscles. Based on U.S. population studies, a little over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year. (That's 15 new cases a day.) It is estimated that as many as 30,000 Americans have the disease at any given time. According to the ALS CARE Database, 60% of the people with ALS in the Database are men and 93% of patients in the Database are Caucasian.Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 75, with the majority after age 60, although it can occur at a younger age.• The disease is relatively rare; the incidence is roughly 2 people per 100,000 per year.


Treating ALS. While we do not yet have a cure for ALS, there is treatment. First, there is medicine, Rilutek, which slows the disease progression by decreasing glutamate levels. In addition there are many ongoing Clinical Trials that use agents that target possible causes of the disease.


The mutation involved with ALS suggest that changes in the processing of RNS molecules may lead ALS related motor neutron degeneration.


The SOD1 gene provides instructions for making an enzyme called superoxide dismutase, which is abundant in cells throughout the body. This enzyme attaches (binds) to molecules of copper and zinc to break down toxic, charged oxygen molecules called superoxide radicals. Examinations of diminished stability in the mutant SOD proteins looked in particular at a copper ion that helps stabilize the protein. The scientists found that, although mutant SODs were able to take up copper ions normally, if they were exposed to mildly stressing conditions, they had a reduced ability to retain the copper.


If a parent carries one copy of the disease gene, there is a 50-50 chance of passing along that disease gene to any one child. If the disease gene is dominant, the child will develop the disease. If the gene is recessive, the child would need to inherit two disease genes, one from each parent. If both parents carry one copy of this gene, the chances of any one child inheriting two copies and developing disease is 25%.


There are several research studies – past and present – investigating possible risk factors that may be associated with ALS. More work is needed to conclusively determine what genetics and/or environment factors contribute to developing ALS. It is known, however, that military veterans, particularly those deployed during the Gulf War, are approximately twice as likely to develop ALS.

Lead Belly

Lead Belly - Huddie William Ledbetter, (January, 1888 - December 6, 1949) was an American folk and blues musician, notable for his clear and forceful singing, his virtuosity on the twelve string guitar, and the rich songbook of folk standards he introduced.In 1949 he began his first European tour with a trip to France, but fell ill before its completion, and was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Lead Belly died later that year in New York City.


Mao Zedong - (1893-1976) Chinese military and political leader, who led the Communist Party of China (CPC) to victory against the Kuomintang (KMT) in the Chinese Civil War, and was the leader of the People's Republic of China (PRC) from its establishment in 1949 until his death in 1976.Regarded as one of the most important figures in modern world history, Mao is still a controversial figure today, over thirty years after his death. He died of Lou Gehrig's Disease and elsewhere as Motor Neurone Disease. Mao had been in poor health for several years and had declined visibly for some months prior to his death.


Charles Mingus - (April 22, 1922 - January 5, 1979) was an American jazz bassist, composer. Mingus was prone to depression .By the mid-1970s, Mingus was suffering from Lou Gehrig's disease. His once formidable bass technique suffered, until he could no longer play the instrument. He continued composing a number of recordings before his death. Mingus died aged 56 in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where he had traveled for treatment. His ashes were scattered in the Ganges River.

THE SIMPSONS | Simpsons ALS Ice Bucket Challenge | ANIMATION on FOX
Lou Gehrig's Disease - Effects of Lou Gehrig's Disease - What Is ALS Video.mp4