Turtle Creek man with Lou Gehrig's disease among 1st in U.S. to get new treatment
A Turtle Creek man is scheduled Friday morning to be among the first patients in the United States to receive newly approved medication to treat Lou Gehrig's disease, according to Allegheny Health Network.
Rene' Fogarty is expected to receive the treatment of a drug called Radicava. He suffers from the degenerative neurological condition, known as ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
The FDA approved the drug in May as a treatment option for adult patients with the disease.
Fogarty is to receive the treatment at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh's North Side.
Identified in 1874, the neurological disorder is marked by progressive degeneration of motor neuron cells in the spinal cord and brain.
Patients ultimately become paralyzed and suffocate while their minds remain clear.
Currently, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that about 12,000 to 15,000 Americans have ALS.
"For an illness as relentless as ALS, it is a significant milestone to have a new treatment available which shows promise as an improvement upon what we currently have available to treat the disease," said Dr. Sandeep Rana, medical director of the ALS Center at AHN.
"We are very hopeful that Radicava will help us to more effectively treat ALS and extend quality of life for our patients."
The drug is dosed on a 14-day cycles followed by 14-day drug-free periods.
Fogarty, who was recently diagnosed with ALS, will receive his treatment cycles at the ALS Center at AHN, which is located in Allegheny General Hospital.
Ben Schmitt is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at email@example.com.
Linda Fogarty, wife of ALS patient Rene as he received treatment at AGH pic.twitter.com/7JbONwek7L— Ben Schmitt (@bencschmitt) August 11, 2017