ALS Awareness Month

als

In May 2015 ALS Awareness Month is celebrated. In the United States, the campaign is observed every year in the month of May. During this month, the ALS Association sponsors the National ALS Advocacy Day and Public Policy Conference and leads a delegation of people with ALS, their caregivers and other advocates to Capitol Hill to urge legislators to support measures to help find treatments and a cure.

ALS, or amyotrophic laterals sclerosis, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language. “A” means no. “Myo” refers to muscle, and “Trophic” means nourishment – “No muscle nourishment.” When a muscle has no nourishment, it “atrophies” or wastes away. “Lateral” identifies the areas in a person’s spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located. As this area degenerates it leads to scarring or hardening (“sclerosis”) in the region.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis-also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease in the United States-is a neurodegenerative disease with various causes. It is characterized by rapidly progressive weakness due to muscle atrophy and muscle spasticity, difficulty in speaking, swallowing, and breathing.

The disorder causes muscle weakness and atrophy throughout the body due to the degeneration of the upper and lower motor neurons. Unable to function, the muscles weaken and atrophy. Individuals affected by the disorder may ultimately lose the ability to initiate and control all voluntary movement, although bladder and bowel sphincters and the muscles responsible for eye movement are usually, but not always, spared until the final stages of the disease.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. inesephoto
    May 10, 2015 @ 17:32:44

    My friend’s mother had ALS. It is not only about the terrible symptoms, but also about the procedure dictated by Insurance company. Prayers for all the sufferers.

    Reply

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