Watching my mother struggle to interact with the world as her ALS progressed was extremely difficult for our family, and for me personally. Her struggle inspired me to find solutions that could help people like my mother better interact with computers and their environment, even after they have lost almost all of their ability to move. I had the motivation to advance technology in a way that would bring a new quality of life to people living with ALS under Steve Saling's motto that until medicine proves otherwise, technology is the cure.
Dr. Emily Plowman, one of our Clinical Management Grant awardees, recently published a promising case report on a person with early-stage ALS who has been participating in a mild-intensity respiratory strength training program. The individual has been doing the strength training program with Dr. Plowman and her team at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, over the past 24 months.
The ALS Association fights for people with ALS every day, leading cutting-edge research to discover treatments and a cure for ALS, and serving, advocating for, and empowering people with the disease to live their lives to the fullest. In honor of Throwback Thursday, let’s look back at the advances in our mission areas of Advocacy, Care Services, and Research during 2017.
Did you know we have been using telemedicine since the 1960s? Neil Armstrong and his fellow astronauts wore medical monitoring devices developed by NASA during their first moon landing in 1969. Since then, the use of telemedicine has exploded. Over half of all U.S. hospitals now use some form of telemedicine through more than 200 telemedicine networks.
After over a year in the making, The ALS Association in partnership with Prize4Life awarded the ALS Assistive Technology prize in Dublin during the ALS/MND International Alliance Meeting. We are thrilled to award one of the top prizes to Dexter Ang and David Cipoletta, two young entrepreneurs that founded Pison Technology based out of Massachusetts. They blew the judges away with their easy-to-use, self-contained communication system based on muscle EMG signals.
Kevin Gosnell, founder of ALS ONE, passed away on Monday because of complications from the disease. Gosnell was diagnosed with ALS in spring 2015 and immediately put his business acumen and CEO leadership skills to work, convening the best minds in the ALS community. He founded ALS ONE in January 2016 and brought together leading neurology experts and care specialists from Massachusetts in partnership to leverage their institutions’ strengths to expedite progress toward finding a treatment for ALS within the next four years.
Dr. Andrew Geronimo is a talented young investigator using brain computer interface (BCI) technology to improve the lives of people living with ALS by enhancing their ability to communicate. He and his mentor Dr. Zachary Simmons, also at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, have received a grant from The ALS Association to develop new opportunities for BCI technology.