Vall Hebron ALS Unit, the research behind the ice bucket
The Ice Bucket Challenge has been, without a doubt, the viral of the summer and it has become a worldwide solidarity campaign thanks to the boost it has received by the social media. Anonymous people and, particularly, celebrities have made the initiative spread really fast. But, besides raising money all over the world, it has brought into the open the disease behind the ALS acronym, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The Vall d’Hebron Institut de Recerca (VHIR) is a leading center in ALS research. The group of Peripheral nervous system, led by Dr. Josep Gámez, is currently working on three different research lines dedicated to the study of molecular mechanisms and genetic mutations of the disease. The group is also part of ALSUntangled, an international network of clinical experts with the aim of offering alternative or off-label ALS treatments.
Besides the research team, the Vall d’Hebron University Hospital has an interdisciplinary unit devoted to the care of ALS patients, which serve nearly 100 out of the 400 affected that are in Catalunya. The cause of ALS is unknown and there is no cure or treatment available. It is a debilitating disease characterized by the loss of motor neurons which cause rapidly progressive weakness, muscle atrophy and the death of the patients by breathing failure.
These days we have wanted to get to know better the research that is taking place at VHIR on ALS, and the stories behind some patients we treat at our hospital. Patients, assistants and researchers have positively appraised the ice bucket initiative that has been useful to raise awareness about the disease they suffer or dedicate great part of their time to.
Now it’s time to keep fighting so that the disease and ALS patients are not forgotten, and because everyone that has become aware and want to collaborate does it also for this research. At VHIR you can make donations through the platform yoinvestigo.org, for specifically for ALS research line.