What We Know:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a rapidly progressive disease affecting nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that is often fatal within five years, most commonly due to respiratory failure because of weakened respiratory muscles. The use of non-invasive ventilation, which is pressurized air delivered through a mask, prolongs survival and improves quality of life for people with ALS. However, many do not use non-invasive ventilation due to an inability to tolerate it.
Our Plan to Help:
Dr. Marsella will identify the barriers that prohibit ALS patients from tolerating non-invasive ventilation through in-depth interviews and a focused questionnaire of participants in the National ALS Registry. By identifying the most prominent barriers, Dr. Marsella will create a standardized protocol for evaluating and resolving these issues, and will test the feasibility. Treating these barriers could improve tolerance and lead to prolonged survival and improved quality of life for patients.
How You Can Help:
Donate to the American Brain Foundation to support Dr. Marsella’s important research that has the potential to not only improve the quality of life, but also prolong the life of patients with ALS.
Dr. Marsella is the recipient of the 2019 Clinical Research Training Scholarship in ALS funded by the American Brain Foundation and The ALS Association, in collaboration with the American Academy of Neurology.