Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis- Lou Gehrig’s Disease

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease is a neurological disease which attacks the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement. May is ALS Awareness month, so we’ll be kicking off the month by providing a little information about ALS: what it is, how it affects communication, and what you can do to help.

Motor neurons are nerve cells which provide links between the nervous system and the voluntary muscles of the body. In a healthy, normally functioning system, motor neurons in the brain transmit messages to motor neurons in the spinal cord which then continues the transmission to muscles in the body. When a person has ALS, the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord degenerate, resulting in an inability of the brain to communicate with the body’s musculature. Since these muscles are no longer able to function, they gradually weaken and waste away.

ALS is a rapidly progressive and ultimately fatal disease. When muscles required in breathing begin to fail, the patient dies from respiratory failure, typically between three and five years from the onset of the disease. Roughly 20,000 to 30,000 people in theUnited Statesare afflicted with ALS. The cause of the disease is unknown and there is no known cure. To find out how you can help, visit the ALS Association’s webpage at http://www.alsa.org/news/public-awareness/als-awareness-month/.

Speech Associates of New York’s President and Founder, Jayne Latz, will be joining the fight against ALS as she walks with Team Levine raising funds in New York City’s ALS Association’s “Walk to Defeat ALS”. Click the following link for more information and to learn how you can donate: http://web.alsa.org/site/TR/Walks/GreaterNewYorkWalk/838504689?pg=team&fr_id=7062&team_id=188794

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