Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Beyond the challenge -- what to know about ALS

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Aug 25, 2014 1:39 PM

What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, August 26, 2014:

als-brain 300 x 200.jpg

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS is probably getting more attention this summer than any time since 1939 when New York Yankees superstar Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with the disease.

The awareness and attention can be traced to the Ice Bucket Challenge.  Hundreds of thousands, maybe even millions, of Americans have dumped ice water on their heads and challenged friends and acquaintances to do the same or write a check to the ALS Association.  Many dumped the water and also contributed money.  As of Sunday, more than $70 million has been raised.

While so many people were having fun with their Ice Bucket Challenges, it highlighted how little medical science actually knows about ALS.

The disease affects cells in the brain and spinal cord and from the spinal cord to muscles throughout the body.  ALS progresses to a point where motor neurons die and muscles can't be controlled.  

We don't know what causes ALS and it is incurable.  About 20-30,000 people live with ALS in the U.S. at any one time.


Travis Haines, Maureen Reed, Judy Lyter

We'll learn more about ALS on Tuesday's Smart Talk from Maureen Reed, a registered nurse and Judy Lyter, a nurse counselor with the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of ALS Association which  includes Central Pennsylvania,and Travis Haines, a clinical research coordinator at Penn State Hershey's Neuroscience Institute.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2014-08-26 08:43

    Sheila emails:
    Have you encountered patients that have asked for assistance to end their life. In your opinion, do you think PA will ever have a “dying with dignity” law like that in Oregon, Washington, and Vermont?

  • DolleyMadison520 img 2014-08-26 20:34

    Travis Haines sounded so much like a Valley Girl, prefacing every remark he made with the linguistically trendy, "So ...," that I found listening to him almost unbearable. If he also spiced his remarks with such phrases as, "I go, like, ...," I would have turned off the radio and missed the program. Why can't professionals SOUND like professionals?

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