the goal of The American Center(s) for Cures is to prevent or cure three or four diseases in the next 10 years.

 
 





The 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.

The goal of the ACC is to find cures to life threatening diseases. The following are some potential targets:

Alzheimer's Disease
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 Gehrig's Disease)
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
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.

AIDS
AIDS 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 dementia.

Autism
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
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.

Breast Cancer
Breast 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, too.

Leukemia
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.

Lung Cancer
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 asbestos.

Prostate Cancer
There 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.

Cystic Fibrosis
Cystic 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.

Depression
Depression 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
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 the brain.

Heart Disease
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.

Juvenile Diabetes
Diabetes 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.

Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple 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.

Muscular Dystrophy
Muscular 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
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
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 disorganized speech.

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.

 


 

 
 
     
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