Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, weakens and eventually destroys the body’s motor neurons, making functions such as walking and talking very difficult. Paralysis generally follows after diagnosis.
While the exact cause of ALS is unknown, risk factors include aging and a family history of the disease. Most people who contract the disease are between the ages of 40 and 70, though younger people can also contract ALS.
There are three classifications of ALS :
- Sporadic: The most common form in the U.S. 90 – 95% of all ALS cases are sporadic.
- Familial: An inherited form of the disease. Only 5-10% of ALS cases in the U.S. are familial.
- Guamanian: A high incidence of ALS found in Guam and the Trust Territories of the Pacific in the 1950s.
ALS Awareness Month Video