Who are we?
We are the Loy Stewart and George C. Wendt Institute for ALS Research. We are a group of researchers and technicians looking for what is causing ALS and searching for ways to either alleviate symptoms or find a cure. We can only continue to do this with your help, however.
What is ALS?
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a neurodegenerative disorder that kills the neurons that control certain muscles. It usually starts with voluntary muscles, which means the disease robs patients of the ability to walk, speak, eat and then progresses to involuntary muscles, which affects breathing. From diagnosis, a patient usually survives three to five years and there is no known cure. That is why we are here and working as hard as we can to one day find a cure for this disease.
What, specifically, are we researching?
We are attempting to validate a theory by Dr. Michal Schwartz, a leading voice in neuroimmunology from the Weizmann Institute in Israel. Dr. Schwartz’s approach to understanding ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders centers on the idea that these diseases may be brought about by a specific deficiency in the immune system. At its core, the theory suggests that although many people may have in their systems the basic propensity that causes ALS, they will never know it. The reason is that healthy immune systems successfully fight either the disease progression or its symptoms. We will evaluate biomarkers (small chemical changes) to confirm this theory. Furthermore, if we successfully confirm the presence of this immune deficit, newly available technology may allow us to begin development of a treatment.
What can I do to help?
We are still looking for named sponsors of this research. We have received NIH grants and gifts from contributors that range from five dollars to several million dollars. If you would like to discuss naming opportunities or another donation, please call (843) 720-1205.
If you would like to make a reoccurring donation or one-time gift, please click the “GIVE NOW” button below. Thank you for providing hope to the next generation of ALS patients.