The ALS Association Releases First Report on ALS Research Advances
The ALS Association has released "Pathways to Hope: The State of Research into Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis," the first report that documents contemporary advances in research into Lou Gehrig's disease.
"More progress in understanding the disease mechanism of ALS and in uncovering new insight into potential treatment has been achieved in the last decade than at any time since ALS was first described by Jean-Martin Charcot more than a century ago," said Dr. Lucie Bruijn, The ALS Association's science director and vice president. "Pathways" was produced under the direction of Bruijn.
ALS is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by degeneration of a select group of nerve cells and pathways in the brain and spinal cord, leading to progressive paralysis of the muscles. Approximately 30,000 people have ALS at any one time. On average, people with ALS survive two to five years from the time of diagnosis.
The past decade has seen a dramatic expansion in ALS research, comparable to Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. The growing realization in the scientific community that ALS may share common biological mechanisms with Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and other neurodegenerative diseases is stimulating increased collaboration between researchers and new interest in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries. It is hoped that through increased collaboration, a breakthrough in one disease may have application to others.
"Pathways to Hope" is the first report to document the most contemporary advances in ALS research, which have clear links to early efforts in the late 1800s through the 20th Century.
Pathways to Hope is available here in Adobe Acrobat format. For additional information about Pathways to Hope or about The ALS Association's research enterprise, please contact The Association's Communications Department at 818-880-9007.