As noted above, PLS is caused by degeneration of the upper motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Upper motor neurons control voluntary movement.
The cell bodies of these neurons are located in the motor cortex area of the brain. They have long, hair-like processes called axons that travel to the brainstem and down the spinal cord. Axons relay the messages to move to lower motor neurons that are located all along the brainstem and spinal cord. Lower motor neurons then carry the messages out to the muscles. Click on the diagram at right to see how upper motor neurons connect to lower motor neurons that innervate leg muscles.
When upper motor neurons degenerate, impulses cannot adequately reach the lower motor neurons and the lower motor neurons cannot deliver the proper message to the corresponding muscle. The result is muscle weakness and spasticity. As the degeneration progresses, symptoms increase.
In PLS, the degenerative process impacts the length of the spinal cord, thus affecting the legs, arms and speech and swallowing muscles. For most patients, the process begins in the legs and then travels up the spinal cord. In some people, the process begins in the brainstem, affecting the speech and swallowing muscles first, and then descends down the spinal cord.
The CFC or Combined Federal Cam-paign is a fundraising campaign the Federal Government offers its employ-ees to participate with each year. It begins Sept 1st and goes through Dec 15th. Federal employees are allowed to pick from over 200 registered nonpro-fits to contribute to. Many CFC fairs will be held at Federal facilities throughout the campaign. This allows employees to learn about the nonprofits and make their selections.
Please let friends and family members who are Federal employees know they can choose the Spastic Paraplegia Foun-dation to donate to. The SPF CFC num-ber is 12554. The following are exam-ples of Federal employees: law enforce-ment, mail personnel, VA or Veteran’s Administration employees, Medicare, Medicaid, military and many types of governmental jobs. If donors want to know more, please have them log on to
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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.
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