May 27, 2022
Larry Cepuran and Joe Lynch talk about Lou Gehrig Day and ALS, which stands for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Larry Cepuran is a friend of Joe’s who has been diagnosed with ALS, which is sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS has no cure and very few treatments.
In March 2021, Major League Baseball declared June 2 henceforth to be Lou Gehrig Day. June 2 was chosen because it is the anniversary of when Gehrig became the Yankees' starting first baseman in 1925 and when he died in 1941.
The ALS Therapy Development Institute (ALS TDI) is the world’s foremost drug discovery lab focused solely on ALS. As a nonprofit biotech we operate without regard to profit or politics. Led by drug development experts and people with ALS, our Cambridge, Massachusetts based lab is funded by a global network of supporters unified to end ALS. Our mission is to discover and develop effective treatments for ALS.
There are currently no known effective cures or treatments to stop disease progression of ALS. ALS is a complex disease that varies from person to person and far more research is necessary to discover effective treatments for each person living with ALS.
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease or Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a disease that causes the death of neurons controlling voluntary muscles. Some also use the term motor neuron disease for a group of conditions of which ALS is the most common. ALS is characterized by stiff muscles, muscle twitching, and gradually worsening weakness due to muscles decreasing in size. It may begin with weakness in the arms or legs, or with difficulty speaking or swallowing. About half of the people affected develop at least mild difficulties with thinking and behavior and most people experience pain. Most eventually lose the ability to walk, use their hands, speak, swallow, and breathe.
The cause is not known in 90% to 95% of cases, but is believed to involve both genetic and environmental factors. The remaining 5–10% of cases are inherited from a person’s parents. About half of these genetic cases are due to one of two specific genes. The underlying mechanism involves damage to both upper and lower motor neurons. The diagnosis is based on a person’s signs and symptoms, with testing done to rule out other potential causes.