I'm proud of the progress made this year by Project ALS research, summarized in the video below.
A few highlights from 2016, thanks to you:
(1) CANCER DRUGS IN ALS: we are aggressively testing cancer drugs on ALS lab models and hope to bring the most effective hits to human trial. These drugs target a pathway called "autophagy," which is important in both cancer and ALS.
(2) NEW GENES DISCOVERED: our ability to screen the genes of people with ALS has given researchers and doctors new strategies for targeted treatments.
3) LIVE CELL IMAGING: Project ALS researchers are devising technologies that allow us to see ALS as it is happening. That's a new window that will open wider in 2017—guaranteed.
Is this enough? NO. Can we do better? Can we live up to the promises of effective treatments and cure? YES. But clinical research must work more efficiently in 2017. The bottom line for success here is MEDICINE that will slow ALS significantly. Then a cure to stop it. Despite the terrifying fact that by the year 2025, 1 in 25 adults in the US will have been diagnosed with ALS, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, or Huntington's, we have not made deadly neurodegenerative diseases a national priority. That may change. We hope it does. In the meantime, we must lead the charge. These diseases are coming for us all, so we must dig deep now. Together.
We want a dialogue with you. Give us your ideas for 2017. Tell us how we can communicate with you more effectively. As you may know firsthand, ALS is devastating not only to individuals but families and communities. Let's help each other do better—doctors and scientists included...we have the brain power. We have the desire. The answers are among us. Now all we need is activism. Science and technology are exploding with light and promise. It's our job to make sure that that promise translates in to medicine. Let's ride this hard in 2017.
Valerie Estess, Project ALS