Ask-A-Doc, May

Posted 10/07/19 (Mon)

May is ALS Awareness Month

Answer from Jodi Myrvik, Business Manager at UND CFM. 

Q: I’ve heard a lot about ALS lately. What exactly is it?

A: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as "Lou Gehrig's Disease," is a progressive disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord and eventually leads to their death. Muscles cease to engage and patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Awareness of this debilitating disease spread several years ago with the viral sensation known as the Ice bucket Challenge. The videos featured people pouring ice cold water onto themselves, and then daring others to continue the challenge as well and to contribute to the fight against ALS. The fight continues and May is ALS Awareness Month, promoted by the ALS Association.

The cause of ALS is not completely understood, but there’s new scientific understanding regarding the physiology of this disease. While there is not a cure or treatment currently that halts or reverses ALS, there is one FDA approved drug, as well as several other drugs in clinical trials, that hold promise.

Learn more about ALS and ALS Awareness Month at


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