(Photo courtesy BC ALS Society, the BC Legislature lit up purple for ALS Awareness Month)
How can it be, you ask? How can both May AND June be ALS Awareness Month? Our American friends tackle ALS in May, and here in Canada, June is ALS Awareness Month. And frankly, a disease this insidious needs all of the awareness it can get.
And to kick off Canadian ALS Awareness Month, I offer this short quiz. No trick answers, I promise! I’ll post the answers Tuesday (hey, all the letters in “answers” are also in the word “awareness”!), so yeah, I’ll post answers and my sources Tuesday. Feel free to share in the comments if you’re the kind of kid who was always waving their hand in the air at school saying “Oo! Oo! Pick me!”
- ALS is sometimes referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the famed New York Yankees first baseman. True or False: Lou Gehrig was the first person diagnosed with the disease.
- ALS has no known cure. Causes are another story: Familial ALS, or FALS, is genetic and passed down through families. Sporadic ALS makes up the majority of ALS cases. True or False: Sporadic ALS is caused by Lyme disease.
- ALS in Canada affects about 2 per 100,000 persons, with about 4000 people living with it at any given time. True or False: ALS only affects people over 50.
- ALS is neurodegenerative, and affects voluntary muscles by destroying motor neurons, preventing brain/muscle communication. True or False: ALS only has physical symptoms.* (pls note this does not include secondary conditions such as depression caused by diagnosis)
- And finally, True or False: There are treatments for ALS, but Big Pharma is keeping them secret in order to make money.