miracles of modern science have bought astounding
knowledge about diseases, but far too few cures.
The American Center(s) for Cures (ACC) will open a new
pathway to discovery and focus on the single most
important goal that we have for our loved ones with
an illness: cures.
of the ACC is to find cures to life threatening
diseases. The following are some potential targets:
Alzheimer's disease is a progressive, degenerative
disease of the brain, which causes thinking and
memory to become seriously impaired. It is the most
common form of dementia. (Dementia is a syndrome
consisting of a number of symptoms that include loss
of memory, judgment and reasoning, and changes in
mood, behavior and communication abilities). It is
the most common reason older persons are placed into
nursing homes. If the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease
were delayed by five years (although we would want
to cure it), the Medicaid financial crisis would be
nearly eliminated. Alzheimer’s disease is the 7th
leading cause of death in the US.
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) ) is a
progressive, usually fatal, neurodegenerative
disease caused by the degeneration of motor neurons,
the nerve cells in the central nervous system that
control voluntary muscle movement. As a motor neuron
disease, the disorder causes muscle weakness and
atrophy (wasting) throughout the body
Arthritis is characterized as a joint disorder
featuring inflammation. There are many types of
arthritis (over 100 and growing). These types range
from those connected to wear and tear of cartilage
(such as osteoarthritis) to those linked with
inflammation resulting from an overactive immune
system (such as rheumatoid arthritis). Together, the
many types of arthritis make up the most common
chronic illness in the United States.
stands for acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
People with HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) can
look and feel well. As the virus attacks the immune
system, an infected person will be open to a large
number of illnesses. This means there are a wide
variety of symptoms. HIV usually leads to AIDS,
which is diagnosed when a person has developed one
of several opportunistic diseases associated with
the virus as well as underlying immune problems.
The diseases include pneumonia, Kaposi's sarcoma - a
form of purplish skin cancer not normally seen in
young people before the advent of Aids - and
Autism is a developmental brain disorder that
typically affects a person’s ability to communicate,
engage in social interactions, and respond to the
environment. Some with autism have little problems
with learning and speech, and are able to function
in society. Others, however, may be significantly
impaired or have serious language delays.
Additionally, the disease makes some people seem
closed off and shut down; others seem locked into
repetitive behaviors and rigid patterns of thinking.
Today, 1 in 150 individuals is diagnosed with
autism, making it more common than pediatric cancer,
diabetes, and AIDS combined. It occurs in all
racial, ethnic, and social groups and is four times
more likely to strike boys than girls.
Cancer is the 2nd leading cause of death in the US.
Cancer is the general name for a group of more than
100 diseases in which cells in a part of the body
begin to grow out of control. Although there are
many kinds of cancers, they all start because
abnormal cells grow out of control. Untreated
cancers can cause serious illness and all too
frequently, they lead to death. Cancers can begin in
many different parts of the body and can act very
differently. For example, lung cancer and breast
cancer are very different diseases. They grow at
different rates and respond to different treatments.
The American Center(s) for Cures will look for common
threads that lead to cancer, but will focus upon
specific questions about specific cancers that will
lead to cures.
cancer is a malignant tumor that begins from
cells of the breast. A malignant tumor is a
group of cancer cells that may invade
surrounding tissues or spread (metastasize) to
distant areas of the body. The disease occurs
almost entirely in women, but men can get it,
Leukemia is a type of cancer that affects the
bone marrow, the soft, spongy center of the bone
that produces blood cells. In most cases, the
marrow produces too many immature white blood
cells called blasts that are abnormally shaped
and cannot carry out their usual duties. This
explains why the disease is called "leukemia,"
which literally means "white blood." As these
blasts multiply and crowd the bone marrow, they
interfere with the production of other types of
blood cells. When they move into the body, they
can collect in different places, causing
swelling or pain.
This cancer arises in the tissue covering the
air passages. It is a common form of cancer, and
is strongly associated with cigarette smoking
and industrial air pollutants, for example
are several cell types in the prostate, but
nearly all prostate cancers start in the gland
cells. This kind of cancer is known as
adenocarcinoma. Prostate cancer is the most
common cancer in humans (except skin cancer) and
is the second leading cause of death by cancer
in males. Although it is commonly a slow disease
and many men in their 80’s and 90’s die with,
not from prostate cancer, it is still kills
30,000 men per year.
fibrosis is a hereditary disease affecting the
exocrine (mucus) glands of the lungs, liver,
pancreas, and intestines, causing progressive
disability due to multisystem failure. Thick mucus
production results in frequent lung infections
Often, symptoms of CF appear in infancy and
childhood. Individuals with cystic fibrosis can be
diagnosed prior to birth by genetic testing.
Currently, there is no cure for CF, and most
individuals with cystic fibrosis die young: many in
their 20s and 30s from lung failure. However, with
the continuous introduction of many new treatments,
the life expectancy of a person with CF is
increasing to ages as high as 40 or 50.
is a type of mental disorder that affects a person’s
mood. It can affect your thoughts, feelings,
behavior, and overall health. Normal feelings fall
along a continuum from mild to intense, and the same
is true of depression.
Depression can affect anybody, including teenagers.
Most people with depression can be helped with
treatment, but many depressed people never get the
help they need. When depression isn’t treated, it
can get worse, last longer, and prevent you from
getting the most out of your life.
Epilepsy is a common chronic neurological disorder
that is characterized by ongoing unprovoked
seizures. These seizures are transient signs and/or
symptoms due to irregular, excessive or synchronous
neuronal activity in the brain. About fifty million
people in the world have epilepsy. Epilepsy is
typically controlled, but not cured, with
medication, although surgery may be considered in
difficult cases. However, over 30% of those with
epilepsy do not have seizure control even with the
finest medications. Not all epilepsy syndromes are
lifelong – some types are confined to particular
stages of childhood. Epilepsy should not be
understood as a single disorder, but rather as a
collection of syndromes with divergent symptoms all
involving episodic irregular electrical activity in
Heart disease or cardiopathy is an umbrella term for
a variety of diseases affecting the heart. As of
2007, it is the leading cause of death in the United
States, England, Canada and Wales, accounting for
25.4% of the total deaths in the United States.
is a chronic metabolic condition caused by the
body's inability to break down glucose (sugars) and
store them properly. When an individual's system is
unable to efficiently process glucose, it will back
up in the person's bloodstream creating multiple
health problems. Over thirty thousand individuals
will be diagnosed with diabetes this year alone. It
is estimated that over one hundred and twenty
million individuals worldwide have diabetes. It is
further estimated that approximately five million
individuals have diabetes that has yet to be
diagnosed. Two types of diabetes exist. Diabetes is
the 6th leading cause of death in the US.
sclerosis is a chronic disease of the central
nervous system. MS is not curable. However, there
are treatments that are showing great promise for
slowing down the progression of the disease. There
are over 50 symptoms linked with MS, all which can
vary in severity, duration and associated
disability. The most common symptoms of MS are:
fatigue, depression, bladder dysfunction, numbness
or tingling, bowel dysfunction, and pain.
dystrophy (MD) refers to a group of genetic,
hereditary muscle diseases that cause progressive
muscle weakness. Muscular dystrophies are
characterized by progressive skeletal muscle
weakness, defects in muscle proteins, and the death
of muscle cells and tissue. More than 100 diseases
in total have similarities to muscular dystrophy.
Most types of MD are multi-system disorders with
manifestations in body systems including the heart,
gastrointestinal and nervous systems, endocrine
glands, skin, eyes and other organs.
Parkinson's disease affects millions of people
around the world. This disease affects the nervous
system and is
caused by degeneration of a part of the brain called
the basal ganglia, and by low production of the
neurotransmitter dopamine. Symptoms include muscle
rigidity, tremors, and slow voluntary movement.
Schizophrenia is a mental illness that usually
strikes in late adolescence or early adulthood, but
can strike at any time in life. The signs and
symptoms vary from individual to individual, but all
people with the disorder show symptoms such as
delusions, hallucinations, bizarre behavior, and
Sickle Cell Disease
Sickle cell disease is an inherited blood disorder
that affects red blood cells. Those with sickle cell
disease have red blood cells that contain mostly
hemoglobin* S, an unusual type of hemoglobin. Often
times these red blood cells become sickle-shaped
(crescent shaped) and have difficulty passing
through small blood vessels.