by Melissa Brunner
Can you believe we're less than two weeks away from the Muscular Dystrophy Association telethon?! I couldn't believe my eyes when I looked at the calendar!
Some big news in the realm of fighting neuromuscular disease is coming out just in time for the big event. For those who weren't aware, there are more than 40 neuromuscular diseases that fall under MDA's umbrella. In addition to support and treatment for the patients and their families, MDA also fund reasearch toward new treatments and potential cures for these ailments.
To that end, I've recently learned about two big developments. One article I found just today about ALS, which you might know better as Lou Gehrig's Disease. Researchers at Northwestern University apparantly found that ALS may commonly be caused by a malfunctioning protein recycling system in the neurons of the brain and spinal cord. Knowing a cause, scientists say, is the first step in being able to find more effective treatments and, ultimately, a cure. Here's a link to the full article: http://news.yahoo.com/researchers-theyve-found-common-cause-types-als-180606872.html
Another big step forward came last week, when MDA announced the start of a Phase 2 trial on a therapy for Duchenne Dystrophy. They're studying a drug that can trick the body into perhaps "skipping over" the genetic disruptions present in boys who have the disease. Here's a link to a video describing the trial and its impact on families: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pR4a24MHvk
It's all further evidence of how far we've come in the fight against neuromuscular disease, what a difference your donations to MDA have made and are continuing to make. A reminder that this year's MDA Telethon is from 6pm to Midnight on Sunday, Sept. 4th - it's a big change, so be sure to tune in! Many people continue to be out collecting donations ahead of us taking your calls - Topeka firefighters hit the streets the past two weekends and Beverly Bernardi Post & her dancers would be happy to take your dollars at their studio, off 17th & Wanamaker.
Thanks for all you've done and for all we know you'll continue to do to support the cause!