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ALS/Lou Gehrig's Disease.
History of the disease: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease since it claimed the life of the New York Yankees' "Iron Horse" Lou Gehrig in 1941. It is a spreading and worsening neuromuscular disease. It is characterized by a gradual deterioration of motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. When the motor neurons can no further send impulses to the muscles, the muscles begins to waste away, causing increased muscle weakness. Throughout the world, one to two per 100,000 people are diagnosed with this disease every year. Most people are diagnosed in their mid-50s, but it can also concern young adults in there mid teens. Still, appearance of the disease before 30 years of age is rare. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also called Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive, fatal neurological disease affecting as many as 20,000 Americans with 5,000 new cases occurring in the United States each year. ALS manifests itself in different ways, depending on which muscles lessen first. Symptoms may include tripping and falling, loss of motor control in hands and arms, difficulty speaking, swallowing and/or breathing, persistent fatigue, and twitching and cramping, sometimes quite severely. ALS strikes through mid-life. Men are about one-and-a-half times more circumspect to have the disease as women are.