ONGOING ALS RESEARCH PROJECTS
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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Paul Taylor, MD, PhD
Dr. Taylor is studying the function of several proteins implicated in ALS (TDP-43, hnRNPA2B1 and hnRNPA1) that bind to mRNA immediately after it is transcribed by ribosomes. He intends to discover how these proteins are directly perturbed by disease mutation or indirectly impacted by mutations in VCP or C9orf72. This project is one of four thematically related projects investigating the role of perturbed RNA metabolism in ALS pathogenesis.