WASHINGTON, June 21, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ALS Association is joining forces with the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations for ALS/MND Global Awareness Day. Outside the United States, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is more commonly known as motor neuron disease or MND. Regardless of geographic location, it is just as likely to strike anyone without consideration of his or her racial, ethnic or socioeconomic background.
"Scientific research, coupled with clinical studies and quality care for those whom ALS has impacted, will serve as the means for realizing a world where ALS no longer robs unsuspecting individuals of their ability to walk, talk and eventually breathe," said Association President and CEO Jane H. Gilbert. "Finding treatments, and ultimately a cure for ALS, is very much a global effort."
Today in honor of MND Global Awareness Day, The ALS Association is calling on people with ALS, caregivers and others to show their support for awareness for this fatal disease by exchanging their Facebook and Twitter profile pictures with an ALS Twibbon and tweeting using the hashtag: #worldwithoutALS.
Families who have been touched by Lou Gehrig's Disease are also encouraged to share their stories and experiences living with ALS to raise awareness and build solidarity among the global ALS community.
"Being diagnosed with ALS was terrifying, especially having watched my mother suffer with this disease and knowing there is still no effective treatment," said advocate Karen Shideleff who has been living with ALS since 2011. "I am a huge supporter of research and encourage all people with ALS to participate in clinical trials. Science is our best hope for finding a cure."
At any given time, there are as many as 30,000 people in the United States living with ALS. The ALS Association is working to change that and has committed more than $67 million to find effective treatments and a cure. This investment has already increased the number of scientists around the world studying ALS and has helped to yield critical new discoveries including revealing new insights into the complex genetic and environmental factors that are associated with the disease.
"The ALS Association continues to fight this disease by funding the best and the brightest scientists in the world to eradicate this fatal disease, working with our elected leaders in Congress, and working with other government entities and ALS research organizations," said Gilbert.
ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration modestly extends survival.
About The ALS Association
The ALS Association is the only national non-profit organization fighting Lou Gehrig's Disease on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through a nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships, The Association builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for new treatments and a cure. For more information about The ALS Association, visit our website at www.alsa.org.
SOURCE The ALS Association