HSP and PLS are caused by degeneration of the upper motor neurons. “Upper motor neurons” are the nerve cells that control voluntary movement. They are located in the motor cortex of the brain and carry messages from the brain to the brain stem and spinal cord. They connect to (synapse with) other nerves called “lower motor neurons”, which carry the messages out to the muscles to tell them to move.
When there is degeneration in the upper motor neurons, messages (impulses) cannot adequately reach the lower motor neurons and their messages to the corresponding muscles are impaired. This causes the muscles to be weak and muscle tone to be increased, resulting in stiffness or spasticity.
In both HSP and PLS, nerve degeneration occurs in the lower part of the spinal cord, resulting in weakness and spasticity in the lower body. In PLS, degeneration also occurs at higher regions in the spinal cord and brainstem, causing weakness and spasticity in the arms, slurred speech and difficulty swallowing. This can also happen to a smaller degree in HSP.
Here are some diagrams to help:
We are excited that Giving Tuesday is coming up soon. It is a once a year event and is a perfect accent to the holiday season. Unbeknownst to the commercial world, the holiday season is not about who gets more for me, me, me. It is about that special feeling you get when you know you have really helped out someone you care about or love. It is knowing that the dollar you give today is going to blossom into a million dollars worth of relief from suffering for the people with HSP and PLS. Welcome to Giving Tuesday and we Thank You for your consideration.
When Clinical Trials begin in 2017 it may require as many people as possible for the Clinical Trial to be effective. If you have HSP or PLS, please add your information to our data base so we can keep you informed. We are missing a lot people's email address, so if you just want to add your email address. just enter your name, address and email and we'll add it. That way, we will be able to reach you quickly at a lower cost. Your privacy is very important to us. We will never share any of your information with any individual or company without your permission.
We operate out of the strength of our community, caring friends and sponsors. Your help makes a difference! Our volunteers give many hours of their time annually, and the opportunities to help are as varied as our helpers. Read more.