My husband’s ALS journey is not unique. It started with weakness in his left leg, and a few other puzzling issues which he began to note around 2010. We didn’t do anything about it until October 2012, when things got more puzzling.
When your loved one receives a diagnosis of ALS, you transition into a new role as a caregiver. This may happen gradually over time, or quickly, catching you off guard and possibly unprepared. Regardless of where you are in your caregiving journey, who better to accept advice, guidance and emotional support from than other families and caregivers who are living through similar experiences?
The Allied Professionals Forum is almost here - an educational and training event where hundreds of allied health professionals come together from around the world. Its two days of extensive presentations, networking, and workshops that always leaves us feeling exhausted but at the same time re-energized and rejuvenated from hearing about all the amazing work being done around the world.
We asked the FDA to treat the approval review process of AMX0035 with urgency. Specifically, we sent a letter to FDA asking the agency to conduct a Priority Review of Amylyx’s New Drug Application (NDA) for AMX0035 and then approve it. The Priority Review is an expedited review process, as opposed to the Standard Review process, which can take upwards of a year after the agency accepts submission of the NDA.
I can’t will the leaves to hold on to the tree for much longer, I know that. Soon, we will all have to let go. But for now, in the month of Thanksgiving, we just hang on. We continue to thank God for the gift of time and each other. But when the day comes and her spirit no longer fills that room, I surely will never be the same.
We talked with Dr. Caroline McHutchison, postdoctoral fellow from the University of Edinburgh, to learn more about her research focused on examining the presence, onset, and evolution of cognitive and behavioral symptoms, relative to motor symptom onset and diagnosis of ALS.
My husband's ALS diagnosis didn’t explain the symptoms I was seeing. I searched the internet late at night and concluded that he also had Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). Symptoms of FTD include a loss of empathy and executive function, an increase in inappropriate actions, a lack of judgement and inhibition.
The Association provides free online access to a variety of options, including publications, videos, books, and informative websites that provide a wealth of easy-to-access information on important topics relevant for people living with ALS and their caregivers.
Executive Director John Hedstrom of The ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter offers a testimony to the Join Committee on Health Care Financing in support of in Support of H. 201 and S. 753, “An Act Advancing Health Care Research and Decision-Making Centered on Patients and People with Disabilities”. Read his statement on behalf of the Massachusetts ALS community here.
The Letters family has graciously shared different perspectives of their family’s very personal journey with ALS on our blog throughout the past year. In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month, Patty Letters was kind enough to tell her side of the story living as an ALS caregiver.
Accelerating Access to Critical Therapies (ACT) for ALS (H.R. 3537) was approved by a unanimous vote on Thursday, November 4 in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health. Thanks to everyone within the ALS community who has advocated for passage and who has worked on Capitol Hill to help make this important step happen. The strong bipartisan support for this bill means smooth sailing as the bill goes to the full House Energy and Commerce Committee and then the full House for approval.
Amylyx recently filed a New Drug Application for AMX0035, a promising new drug that has proven safe and effective at slowing progression of ALS and extending the life of people living with the disease. The ALS Association has called on the FDA to approve the application with urgency.
Debbie Petrovsky, a woman with ALS residing in Massachusetts, pens poetry to articulate her experience living with the disease. Her unique expression is unique to her experience yet offers insight for those looking to learn more about the challenges of ALS.
Only those living through the experience first-hand truly understand the challenges of being a full-time caregiver, particularly for someone living with ALS. The ability to complete basic daily tasks can be overwhelming and the need for help is great.
Avi works closely with The ALS Association, fundraising to ensure all people living with ALS have access to effective treatments and care. Almost completely paralyzed and unable to speak, he communicates by typing using small head movements. “My campaign to help find treatments and a cure is done primarily through a computer,” he says, “but my life is filled with joy, and I am living with ALS.”
The ALS Association believes that upon diagnosis, people living with ALS/MND and their families must have the right to access genetic counseling and testing, current education about clinical genetics in ALS/MND and safeguards against genetic discrimination. Thanks to a sponsorship from Biogen, the diagnostic company Invitae is offering genetic testing and post-test counseling to people with ALS and their families at no charge.
The impact of ALS on breathing is likely one of the most daunting aspects of the disease journey and one for which you and your family can and should prepare for early on. There are many different options and interventions to consider, and education and proactive planning can help to ease the stress for everyone involved.
Over a year ago, Sophia Harding became a volunteer for The ALS Association, a fourth-generation member of the Barnett family to join the fight against ALS. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, she moved to Florida and joined the team at The ALS Association Florida Chapter as a Phone Friend Volunteer.
We talked with Dr. Marion Sommers-Spijkerman, postdoctoral fellow from the Netherlands, to learn more about her research focused on developing and evaluating a guided web-based self-compassion intervention aimed at reducing self-stigma in people living with ALS and their primary caregivers.