Lou Gehrig's disease, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that causes people to lose the ability to move their muscles. Patients eventually die.
The disease affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord that initiate muscle movement.
In later stages of the disease, patients may be totally paralyzed.
There is no known cure.
The disease was named after the Lou Gehrig, the famous New York Yankees slugger who set a record for the most consecutive professional baseball games played.
After becoming ill, Gehrig retired from the game in 1939 at age 36 after giving a famous speech in Yankee Stadium in which he called himself the "luckiest man on the face of the earth."
Gehrig died two years later.
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