ALS/Lou Gehrig’s Disease Breakthrough?
There is hope for people diagnosed with ALS (Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis) Disease, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. A new drug that has been tested on mice has stopped the progression of the disease in certain types of mice, by introducing copper safely into cells in the spinal cord and mitochondria.
The drug was developed by Oregon State University researchers including Joe Beckman, in conjunction with researchers in Australia. They are currently trying to get FDA approval for early trials on humans in the United States, but caution that there is no proof that this potential ALS breakthrough medicine will work, and it may only work on certain types of ALS.
ALS is also known as motor neurone disease (MND), since it is a disease that kills neurons. There is no cure of ALS and the causes of ALS are not fully understood, although it appears that between 5-10% of cases are inherited. ALS is a typically fast-progressing and fatal disease that strikes mature adults and seniors age 50+, with an average survival of 3-4 years after being diagnosed. Symptoms of ALS include stiff and twitching muscles, and gradual weakening as the muscles shrink in size; this causes the sufferer to find it difficult to swallow, speak, and breathe; respiratory failure is the usual cause of death in ALS patients.