Jason Clement ALS Fund
ALS is also known as motor neuron disease (MND). Motor neuron diseases are characterized by progressive muscle weakness and atrophy (wasting away or loss of muscle). There are several types of motor neuron diseases. If only the upper motor neurons are damaged, it is called primary lateral sclerosis. When only the lower motor neurons are damaged, it is called spinal muscular atrophy or progressive muscular atrophy. If both the upper and lower motor neurons are damaged, it is known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), which is the most common form of MND in adults of any age. Once the motor neurons die, they can no longer send messages to the muscles. This breakdown in the sending of nerves impulses to the muscles is what causes the weakness in ALS.
It is important to know that ALS only affects your voluntary muscles - the muscles that you can voluntarily control. For example, you can voluntarily move your arm. ALS does not affect muscles that you can not voluntarily control. For example, you can not make your heart beat faster or slower. The heart is not a voluntary muscle and it is not affected by ALS.
Thanks to the influx of donations from the 'Ice Bucket Challenge', there are a large number of research projects going on worldwide. Below are links to some great organizations that are working to further ALS research everyday. Please visit these sites to learn more about the latest research developments.