People and health care providers facing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, will gain a better understanding about what they are up against during ALS 101, a free educational seminar offered by the School of Health Professions and the ALS Therapy Developmental Foundation.

Designed for patients, families and health care providers, ALS 101 is from 4:30 to 8 p.m. April 26 in room 11 of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.

“We hope this seminar will help enhance the quality of life for ALS patients by helping them understand the disease process better and learn about emerging treatments,” said Beth Mohan, a nurse case manager in the School of Health Professions. “The intensive, interactive session is also geared toward family members and providers who are helping these patients live with ALS.”

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. The disease makes the simplest movements such as walking, communicating and eating almost impossible. For the majority of patients, the brain remains unaffected.

The seminar will provide the latest information about the basic biology and science of what goes wrong in a body with ALS. It will also focus on what researchers are doing to find treatments and a cure. Participants will have the opportunity to meet the founder and staff of the ALS Therapy Development Foundation, a nonprofit biotechnology company discovering treatments for patients.

In 2005, NAU entered an agreement with the Arizona Chapter of the ALS Association and Good Samaritan Medical Center in Phoenix to provide services to patients. NAU offers ALS patients and families in the northern region of the state teleconferencing with doctors, educational events, monthly support groups, equipment loans, patient advocacy and home visits.

To sign up for ALS 101, call (928) 523-7417 or e-mail Pamela.Plude@nau.edu.

For information go to www.als.net.