WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 (UPI) — The U.S. government has set up a registry for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, to identify potential risk factors, officials say.
The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry has begun the National ALS Registry, a database that will gather and organize information about potential and known risk factors as well as symptoms of ALS.
ALS is a neuromuscular diseases effecting people of all races and ethnic backgrounds, especially those ages of 55-75, which causes nerve cells to stop functioning and eventually die.
It is not known how many people with ALS live in the United States, but scientists estimate there may be 30,000, officials say.
“A National ALS Registry provides researchers and physicians with more thorough information about ALS. It will further empower them in the fight to treat and possibly prevent this disease,” agency Director Christopher Portier says in a statement.
“There is no known cause of ALS, but the registry is the first nationwide effort to enhance our knowledge about this disease.”
Registry entries include a patient health history, work experiences and family medical histories. The registry information is confidential and will not be publicly released, Portier says.
Patients choosing to participate see: www.cdc.gov/als to register.
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