Amyotrophic lateral scleroisis
(Lou Gehrig’s disease)
■ EFFECTS: Disorder of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement.
■ PREVALENCE: Affects about 5 of every 100,000 people globally.
■ SYMPTOMS: Muscle weakness, paralysis, difficulty breathing and swallowing.
■ TREATMENT: There is no known cure. The medicine
riluzole slows symptoms and helps patients live longer. Dexpramipexole, Biogen’s experimental drug, proved
ineffective in trials.
SOURCES: National Institutes of Health; Biogen Idec