MAY 30, 2017 1:24 PM PDT

Bringing ALS to Life: What You Need to Know

WRITTEN BY: Jennifer Ellis

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was a success, raising over $115 million for research and patient services, but what’s next? While the challenge increased awareness for the disease worldwide, do you really know what ALS is? Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes motor neuron cell death, leaving the body to lose muscle control of vital functions and eventually killing the patient.

In order to continue the support for ALS research and funding efforts, it is imperative that people know what the disease is, how it is caused, and what effects it has on a person. In healthy people, motor neurons, cells in the spinal cord and brain, control voluntary muscles. In people with ALS, these motor neurons break down, causing the nerve signal that reaches the muscles gets weaker over time. Since electrical signals from the nerves normally maintain muscle mass, the affected muscles shrink and degenerate as these signals decrease.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a terminal illness. Fifty percent of patients die within 3 years of diagnosis; 20 percent live 5 years; and 10 percent live 10 years. The research community has been working to develop new and innovative therapies for ALS, including antibody therapeutics to protect nerves against progression of the disease. These new therapies are giving hope to those with the disease and to the medical community that ALS could actually be curable.

"Copy + Paste" the code below to embed this infographic into your website.

About the Author
  • I love all things science and am passionate about bringing science to the public through writing. With an M.S. in Genetics and experience in cancer research, marketing and technical writing, it is a pleasure to share the latest trends and findings in science on LabRoots.
You May Also Like
FEB 14, 2017
Infographics
FEB 14, 2017
Stopping You In Your Tracks: What To Do About Muscle Cramps
You are exercising, focusing only on what you are doing and what is coming next. All of the sudden, piercing pain hits you like a ton of bricks. “Oh ...
JUN 09, 2017
Infographics
JUN 09, 2017
Diamonds are Forever, or Are They?
N.W. Ayer, the advertising agency hired by De Beers in the late 1940’s, coined the phrase, “A diamond is forever.” Of course, what the ph...
SEP 27, 2017
Infographics
SEP 27, 2017
Animal Endangerment Endangers Everyone
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) each keep track of the conservation statuses of several ani...
NOV 13, 2017
Infographics
NOV 13, 2017
All you need to know about Alzheimer's disease
In 1983, President Ronald Reagan designated November as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. As it turns out, this was a helpful forward thi...
AUG 05, 2019
Health & Medicine
AUG 05, 2019
25 Interesting Facts About The Brain
The human brain is the most complex and least-understood part of the our body. With 86 billion brain cells and as many as 10,000 specific types of neurons, it can send and receive an enormous...
OCT 01, 2019
Infographics
OCT 01, 2019
Do You Know Your Measles Immune Status?
Measles outbreaks continue to make news around the world. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention update on a weekly basis the number of measles cas...
Loading Comments...