Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive disease that attacks specialized nerve cells, called motor neurons, which control the movement of voluntary muscles. ALS causes upper motor neurons, originating from the top of the brain, and lower motor neurons, originating from the lower part of the brain and the spinal cord, to gradually disintegrate, preventing them from delivering chemical signals and essential nourishment that muscles depend on for normal function. ALS is also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease because it first came to wide public attention when Lou Gehrig, first baseman for the Yankees, was diagnosed with the disease in 1939 and died in 1941.
National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke – ALS Fact Sheet
Muscular Dystrophy Association – What is ALS?
Massachusetts General Hospital ALS Resources for Patients and Families – Material that offers the most current information about ALS and ALS research, as well as opportunities to connect with other patients.
Fact Sheet last updated on: 4/12/2019
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