% OF DONORS’ DOLLARS THAT DIRECTLY SUPPORT ALS RESEARCH
ALS Facts and Statistics
Many amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease – patients can live more productive lives with the illness because there’s a body of research into better ways of managing the disease. Improvements in nutrition and breathing techniques, for example, increase survival. Some 50 percent of patients live at least two years after diagnosis; 20 percent live five years or more and up to 10 percent survive more than 10 years.
Here are some quick reference facts about ALS:
- • Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 75, with the majority after age 60, although it can occur at a younger age.
- • The disease is relatively rare; the incidence is roughly 2 people per 100,000 per year.
- • Most surveys hold that ALS is more common in men than women, though that gap may be closing.
- • The incidence of ALS is five times higher than Huntington’s disease and about half that of multiple sclerosis.
- • While there’s no cure, riluzole therapy improves ALS survival for typical patients by a short period of time, around four to six months.
- • ALS occurs throughout the world with no obvious racial, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries.
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Tim Miller, MD, PhD
Cells in the spinal cord known as microglia can become activated during amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. These cells are also involved in inflammation and appear to accelerate disease progression. He has determined part of the genetic program underlying the activation of inflammatory pathways in microglia. Dr. Miller will attempt to block this genetic program as a way to slow down progression of disease in an animal model of ALS, and then translate this type of therapy to treatment of human ALS.