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Three Important Things to Know About Radicava

The ALS Association is the largest charity for people with Lou Gehrig’s disease in the United States. Not only do they provide excellent patient provision through care takers and support groups, they are also the leading fundraiser for new research when it comes to ALS treatment and a possible cure. During the summer of 2014, the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge went viral online and raised over 100 million dollars. This was the largest amount of donations the fundraisers at ALS had ever seen. They were ecstatic! This boost in funding led to the research and development of three new treatments for Lou Gehrig’s disease, one being Radicava, which will likely be available August of this year. Here’s what you need to know:

Radicava slows the progress of ALS by reducing oxidative stress in the body

ALS is essentially a slow reduction in the body’s ability to function overall. This eventually leads to the shutdown of vital organs within the body. One of the first signs of ALS is the presence of oxidative stress, which is an imbalance between the presence of toxins in the body and the immune system’s ability to detoxify. These effects will first manifest themselves as a general slowing of autoimmune abilities followed by the more sinister effects of ALS, such as major organ failure. Radicava offers a time out to these unfortunate realities. The new medication has been shown to slow oxidative stress, and most patients see a 33% reduction in the decline of their physical abilities. Additionally, all Radicava test patients had higher scores on the ALS Functional Rating Scale.

First new medicine in 22 years

Because the origins of ALS are still largely misunderstood, it is incredibly difficult to approve and test new medications. Since the mid nineteenth century, our knowledge of what causes ALS has not kept up with other medical advancements. Because of this, it is incredibly difficult to find funding for new treatments when legislatures do not understand the medicinal premise. The first and last drug to be approved for treatment of ALS was Riluzole, which slowed lung failure. Unfortunately, the relatively small benefit offered to ALS patients compared to its astronomical costs essentially relegated Riluzole to pipe dream status. The mystery surrounding its origins combined with a lack of funding lead to a two decade ASL treatment dry spell. However, after the 2014 Ice Bucket Challenge, three new medications were presented to the FDA for approval. The first to reach the pharmaceutical market will be Radicava in August!

Administered by infusion

At this point you’re probably wondering how Radicava will be administered to patients. Is it overly intrusive or painful? Will it even be worth it? For those who participated in the testing of the drug, Radicava absolutely is. The treatment is administered intravenously over a fourteen day period, followed by a fourteen day rest. After the initial treatment, patients will receive injections for ten out of every fourteen days. While this is a time-consuming treatment, this is the first ASL medication with legitimate promise for, not only extending the lives of those with Lou Gehrig’s disease, but also improving their quality of life!

After so many years of failed treatments and questions surrounding the origins of ALS, Radicava’s approval is a beacon of hope for patients and their loved ones. United Access is so excited to partner with the ALS Association in order to raise awareness and helping improve the lives of people who have been diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. If you have questions about Radicava or are in need of resources for a loved one with ALS, visit your local ALS Association chapter for more information!

United Access participated in the Walk to end ALS in Springfield, MO

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease that causes the death of neurons which control voluntary muscles. In almost 95 percent of cases, the cause is unknown and there is no known cure. Officially discovered and named in 1874 by Jean-Martin Charcot, ALS affects about two out of every one hundred thousand people in the United States per year. It is also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famous baseball player who was diagnosed with ALS in 1939.

When it became apparent that more research and advocacy was needed to care for victims of Lou Gehrig’s disease, the ALS Association was founded in 1985. It is currently the only national non-profit organization fighting ALS on every front, including global research, providing assistance for people with ALS through their nationwide network of chapters, coordinating multidisciplinary care through certified clinical care centers, and fostering government partnerships. Many people heard of the ALS Association for the first time during the viral 2014 “Ice Bucket Challenge.” The challenge was a huge success, garnering high profile celebrity participants and bringing awareness to a disease that many had previously not been given much attention. After its completion, the Ice Bucket Challenge raised more than one hundred million dollars for the ALS Association and gained more than seven hundred thousand new donors.

Another annual fund raiser put on by the ALS Association is the Walk to Defeat ALS. The event is national and each chapter of the association hosts its own walk. Not only is this a valuable fund raising event, it also is a great opportunity for companies to promote teamwork and families to come together while raising money for a great cause through online-fundraising and at-work activities. Multiple local vendors supply food and beverages for the participants while they enjoy the festivities.

This year, United Access Springfield got a small team together for their local Walk to Defeat ALS. The walk occurred on Saturday, September 24 and was greeted with perfect weather! Before everyone’s team began walking, there were several performances by a local drumline, the cheerleaders of Drury University, and even a visit from the Springfield Batman. Activities included a blow up obstacle course and T-Shirt design contest, but it seemed like the children preferred to simply play in the fountains. The event ended up being a lively and uplifting day for everyone involved. After all the donations were added together, Walk to Defeat ALS Springfield raised an incredible $55,000 for their local chapter!