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43 New Scotland Avenue
Albany, NY 12208

Albany Med Neurosciences Institute Takes ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

ALBANY, N.Y., August 27, 2014 – Physicians, nurses, and staff within Albany Med’s Neurosciences Institute took the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge today to help raise awareness of  amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS, and to support important research to find a cure for the deadly disease. 

Albany Med researchers are currently conducting ALS research that examines whether areas of upstate New York are at increased risk of ALS and if exposure to different toxins plays a role in contracting the disease. Albany Med also is collaborating with other medical centers and national research consortia to test new pharmaceutical treatments.

“ALS is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder and about 30,000 to 40,000 people in the United States have been diagnosed with it,” said James Wymer, M.D., PhD, associate professor of neurology at Albany Medical Center. “Depending on how aggressive the case, a person’s life can be cut very short – leaving the person with a two- to five-year life expectancy.”

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, an event that has gone viral on social media, challenges people to dump buckets of ice water over their heads and donate to ALS research. Started in July by the family of Pete Frates, a 29-year-old ALS patient from Boston, the Challenge is credited for raising more than $88 million for ALS research.

“At Albany Medical College, we are collaborating with local, national and international groups to treat patients diagnosed with ALS and to advance life-saving research,” said Dr. Wymer, an expert in ALS and other neurodegenerative disorders. “Many research projects are currently underway to help us understand why people develop ALS, how best to manage it after the diagnosis, and most importantly, how to cure it.”

Dr. Wymer noted that both the donations and the heightened awareness of ALS following the Ice Bucket Challenge will benefit research being done at Albany Med and throughout the country.
 
Those making donations in connection with the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge are encouraged to donate to Albany Medical Center’s Neurosciences Institute ALS Fund, which supports important ALS research and treatment for those with the disease. Donations can be made at https://community.amc.edu/lifeline by selecting the “Neurosciences Institute ALS Fund” designation.

A number of buckets for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge at Albany Med were provided by Home Depot.

More information about Albany Med’s Neurosciences Institute and treatments offered at Albany Med for disorders and diseases affecting the brain, spine and peripheral nervous system can be found at http://www.amc.edu/Departments/Neurology/.
                                                                                                                                              
Albany Medical Center, northeastern New York’s only academic health sciences center, is one of the largest private employers in the Capital Region. It incorporates the 734-bed Albany Medical Center Hospital, which offers the widest range of medical and surgical services in the region, and the Albany Medical College, which trains the next generation of doctors, scientists and other healthcare professionals, and also includes a biomedical research enterprise and the region’s largest physicians practice with more than 400 doctors. Albany Medical Center works with dozens of community partners to improve the region’s health and quality of life. For more information: www.amc.edu or www.facebook.com/albanymedicalcenter.

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*Questions & Comments:

Tania Allard
Extension: (518) 262 - 3421
  AllardT@mail.amc.edu



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