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What is ALS?

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ALS is short for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. You might also have heard it called Lou Gehrig's disease, after the baseball player who was diagnosed with it in the 1930s. A French doctor named Jean-Martin Charcot discovered the condition in 1869.

ALS is a progressive disease, which means it gets worse over time. It affects nerves in your brain and spinal cord that control your muscles. As your muscles get weaker, it gets harder for you to walk, talk, eat, and breathe.

SOURCES:

ALS Association: "What is ALS?"

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "ALS -- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis."

MDA: "ALS: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis."

NIH. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Fact Sheet," "Motor Neuron Diseases Fact Sheet."

Nemours Foundation: "Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS)."

NIH: "All About ALS."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on June 6, 2017

SOURCES:

ALS Association: "What is ALS?"

Johns Hopkins Medicine: "ALS -- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis."

MDA: "ALS: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis."

NIH. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: "Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Fact Sheet," "Motor Neuron Diseases Fact Sheet."

Nemours Foundation: "Lou Gehrig's Disease (ALS)."

NIH: "All About ALS."

Reviewed by Neil Lava on June 6, 2017

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What are some other motor neuron diseases besides ALS?

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