PLS is diagnosed via a careful clinical examination, by excluding other disorders that cause progressive spasticity and weakness, and by an extended observation period. Tests include a complete neurological examination, blood work, an MRI of the brain and spine, motor and sensory nerve conduction studies, and cerebrospinal fluid analysis. Some of these tests are repeated periodically. Conditions that can be ruled out with testing are tropical spastic paraparesis (TSP), vitamin deficiencies (B12 or E), thoracic spine herniated disks, spinal cord tumors or injury, cerebral palsy, and multiple sclerosis.
Some that may not be ruled out initially include forms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis where there is no or minimal lower motor neuron involvement, and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia where there is just lower body and no lower motor neuron involvement. Within a few years, it is evident whether the disorder is actually ALS. Continued observation of clinical symptoms helps differentiate PLS from HSP.
Giving Tuesday was a great start on our year end goal. So far we have raised over $37,000. Our anonymous donor will match every donation dollar for dollar up to $175,000 until January 15, 2017. That's right, every donation you make will be doubled so you will receive twice as much satisfaction and double the number of people you will help with your wonderful and most appreciated generosity. This is 40% more than was matched last year so we are asking everyone to stretch your giving as well to make sure we use every nickel of this match. We can do it!
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.
93 cents of every dollar you donate goes into our mission of research and service. 4 cents goes to fundraising and 3 cents goes to data management and general expenses. Our all volunteer Scientific Advisory Board makes sure that we are supporting only the very best research projects on the planet. The Spastic Paraplegia Foundation is an all volunteer run foundation. Our highly skilled staff, Scientific Advisory Board, Medical Advisors - CPA, Attorney, President, Board Members - all of us are working hard every day probono because we strongly believe in this cause. We know we can get to our goal if we all do our very best. We ask you to please join in our efforts by making a donation.