Help Marching Mizzou "March For ALS" !

I just received this e-mail via Mizzou athletics and wanted to post it at RMN to try and increase the awareness of this cause.

Marching Mizzou is "Marching for ALS" against Kansas in the Border Showdown Game on Nov. 27th. "Marching for ALS" brings college marching bands from all over the country together to raise awareness and funds in the fight against Lou Gehrig's Disease. Marching Mizzou is competing head-to-head with the KU band to see which band can raise the most money. Funds raised through "Marching for ALS" will go towards the ALS Association's crucial patient services programs and global research endeavors.

Link and information after the jump.

Help Mizzou not only beat KU in donations but also help Marching Mizzou aid researchers that study this horrible disease.

March for ALS

Information about ALS.

ALS stands for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis but is more commonly refered to as Lou Gerhig's disease.

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease characterized by progressive muscular paralysis due to degeneration of motor neurons in the primary motor cortex, corticospinal tracts, brainstem and spinal cord.

"Amyotrophy" refers to the atrophy of muscle fibers, which are denervated as their corresponding anterior horn cells degenerate, leading to weakness of affected muscles and visible fasciculations.

"Lateral sclerosis" refers to hardening of the anterior and lateral corticospinal tracts as motor neurons in these areas degenerate and are replaced by gliosis.

Incidence (average 1.89 per 100,000/year) and prevalence (average 5.2 per 100,000) are relatively uniform in Western countries, although foci of higher frequency occur in the Western Pacific.

The mean age of onset for sporadic ALS is about 60 years. Only 5% of cases have an onset before the age of 30 years, although juvenile sporadic onset cases are being increasingly recognized. Gradually, spasticity may develop in the weakened atrophic limbs, affecting manual dexterity and gait. 

Paralysis is progressive and leads to death due to respiratory failure within 2-5 years after onset.


The caveat of why you should care.

Most ALS cases are sporadic (ie not genetically linked)and only 5-10% of cases are familial, of these only 20% have been linked to a mutation of any kind. Mutations in the SOD1 gene.

The SOD1 mutant mouse model is one of only a few, and the only highly studied animal model of ALS. Thus scientists are stuck with studying a model that is only 20%, of 5-10% of ALS patients.Though this is still a powerful tool and an increasingly large amount of information has already been gleened from this model, it is still not the best situation to be in.

The lack of multiple models and known links to ALS can be due to multiple reasons but a couple apparent ones follow; A) It is some what difficult and time consuming to create a mouse model  B) Most ALS cases are sporadic therefore there is no way to make a model and study it effectively because it is based on a single occurrence. Studying sporadic diseases AND making therapies for them will take gigantic leaps in technology. Which would be a problem for any sporadic disease not just ALS. ( of which there are many)

In summation scientists studying ALS are in a battle with this debilitating and quickly progressing disease. Even if you can not donate a single dollar, feel free to notify others that have that ability. The more people know the better chances researchers will have in creating a more than suitable therapy than what is already out there, for more than 20%, of 5-10%.


Go Mizzou, Go Marching Mizzou, Stop ALS.

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