Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that weakens neurons in the brain and upper spinal cord which control muscles. Individuals gradually lose the ability to control their limbs, tongue and swallowing muscles. The sensory nerves generally are unaffected. The majority of people with ALS will maintain hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste. Currently there is not a cure for ALS, it is a fatal disease with a devastating journey. ALS is known to strike individuals between the ages of 40 to 70. Most patients perish within 5 years of diagnosis.
At any one time, there are about 30,000 people living with ALS, each year 5,000 people are diagnosed. The cause of ALS is unknown, it is such a rare disease and most people will never know anyone with ALS in their life time. Because it is so unknown, it does not get the attention, thus is lacking in research funding/focus from drug companies, nor does it get adequate support and awareness from others.