Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — Deadlier Than Multiple Sclerosis


    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

EXECUTIVE SUMMARYInitially, ALS symptoms are often minor and are frequently overlooked. But as the disease progresses symptoms may include twitching and cramping of muscles, weakness in arms and legs, speech difficulties, and, finally, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing and swallowing. Eventually, the muscles atrophy and the disorder is ultimately fatal.ALS takes a different course in each individual — both in how it affects the body and in the rate at which it progresses. One of the distinctive features of ALS is that it does not impair cognitive function or the ability to taste, see, smell, hear or recognize touch.Estimates suggest that at least 30,000 Americans are currently afflicted with the overt disorder. Finally, epidemiologists assume that 300,000 men and women in the US, who as yet demonstrate no evidence of the disease, will die with ALS unless an effective therapy is found. In fact, more people die every year of ALS than of Huntington's disease or multiple sclerosis.Because the most apparent feature in ALS is the death of motor neurons, therapeutic attempts have been aimed at stabilizing neurons and even regenerating new neural connections. New drugs in development have focused on growth factors that are required by motor neurons. Nonetheless, efforts at administering large molecules like growth factors in any neurodegenerative disease have proven disappointing, most likely due to their inability to efficiently cross the blood-brain barrier.There is a significant unmet need in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis disease therapeutics, with only one compound, Rilutek from Rhone Poulenc, approved. Yet, with 25,000–30,000 ALS patients in the US and 5,000 new diagnoses every year, this disease is similar in its incidence to muscular dystrophies.Source: 25+ Business Development & Innovation Opportunities in CNS Therapeutics — Genesis 1999

    loading  Loading Related Articles