About ALS

Every 90 minutes someone is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disorder in the United States. Anelixis is committed to developing effective treatments that empower individuals with neurodegenerative disorders such as ALS to battle back the progression of their disease.

  • ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, Charcot's disease, and motor neuron disease (MND), attacks certain cells in the brain and spinal cord needed to keep our muscles moving.
  • Early signs and symptoms of ALS include: muscle cramps and muscle twitching, weakness in hands, legs, feet or ankles, difficulty speaking or swallowing.
  • Generally speaking in most cases, the senses, including hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch, are not affected by ALS.
  • It is estimated that there are more than 400,000 people living with ALS worldwide, including between 20,000-30,000 in the United States at any given time.
Photo: Corey Reich, diagnosed at age 20 with ALS. Credit: ALS TDI.

Advancements in ALS research have provided significant new insights into ALS included the discovery of how changes in immune system behavior drive neurodegeneration. Translating those basic science discoveries into potential treatments that slow this horrific disease down is the basis of the Anelixis pipeline.

Without disease modifying treatments, most people diagnosed with ALS survive only 2-5 years after their first signs of disease. However, about one-in-ten diagnosed individuals with survive longer than ten years post onset. The decisions individuals diagnosed with ALS make regarding interventions such as breathing, eating and communication assistance plays a large role in the overall life expectancy from diagnosis.

Currently, there are two medications that have been approved by the FDA to be marketed as treatments for ALS; Rilutek and Radicava. People diagnosed with ALS are encouraged to speak with their doctors about these approaches. While neither were found in clinical trials to be broadly disease modifying (stopping disease) in all people with ALS, many people taking them do experience some impact on their disease progression.

The ALS Therapy Development Institute has created a comprehensive set of resources for those interesting in learning more about ALS. These resources including an overview of the diagnostic process, prognosis, current treatments, clinical trials enrolling, and ALS Forum and other important tools for ALS patients and families. Click here to access these resources.

Photo: Corey Reich, diagnosed at age 20 with ALS. Credit: ALS TDI.