Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, better known as ALS, Motor Neuron Disease, or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movements like chewing, talking, walking and breathing. Over time, motor neurons degenerate and die, resulting in muscles becoming weak and eventually non functional.
There is an estimated 30,000 people living with ALS in the United States, with someone being diagnosed every 90 minutes. The exact cause of ALS is unknown. The disease can affect anyone of any age, gender, or race. Upon experiencing symptoms, people diagnosed with ALS live an average of 3-5 years. Currently, there is no cure for ALS or effective treatment to halt, or reverse, the progression of the disease.
Although ALS is a debilitating disease, advancements in medicine and technology have vastly improved the quality of life for people living with ALS by assisting with breathing, nutrition, communication and mobility. Thanks to initiatives like the Ice Bucket Challenge, ALS has gained national visibility and researchers have received much needed funding to conduct critical clinical trials and scientific research. Every dollar donated is one step closer to finding a cure. Join the fight to end ALS!