Lycée Français accepts the Ice Bucket Challenge to support Team Gleason

Yesterday afternoon, the Lycée Français Patton St. campus gathered to participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge to support Team Gleason. Anne de Valence, Coordinator of Enrichment, presented the challenge to students and described ALS and its devastating effects. Lycée Français challenges our families to not only participate in the Ice Bucket Challenge, but to donate to Team Gleason so that one day soon, there will be a cure.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease and outside the US as Motor Neuron Disease (MND) or Charcot’s Disease, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons in the brain (upper motor neurons) and spinal cord (lower motor neurons) and affects muscle function.

The motor neurons control the movement of various voluntary muscles including the diaphragm. Associated with the loss of the ability of motor neurons to function in ALS, the various muscles cells waste away (atrophy), resulting in increased muscle weakness. Ultimately, accumulated loss of motor neurons makes it impossible for voluntary control of normal muscle function.

Symptoms of ALS can include twitching and cramping of muscles (called fasciculation), stiffness in muscles (spasticity), increasing loss of motor control in hands and arms and legs, weakness and fatigue, slurred or thick speech and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

 

Source: Team Gleason. http://www.teamgleason.org/learn/. Site accessed 10 September 2014.