Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Lou Gehrig's Disease

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The ALS ice bucket challenge spread infectiously across the nation. On social media sites, you are sure to see videos of people tossing freezing buckets of ice water on themselves in hopes of spreading awareness of ALS. The cold sensation causes the person to feel a brief second of being "paralyzed", much like an ALS patient would. Although this challenge has given ALS more awareness, most people still don't know the specifics of this disease like symptoms, life expectancy, and generally what it is. Despite the fact ALS is also referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, many notable people are suffering or have died from it. Since we are citizens of one of the most powerful nations, people need to be informed about this disability in order to find …show more content…

“A-myo-trophic comes from the Greek language ‘A’ meaning no or negative. ‘Myo’ refers to muscle, and “Trophic” means nourishment-’No muscle nourishment’... ‘Lateral’ identifies the areas in a person's spinal cord where portions of the nerve cells that signal and control the muscles are located.” (“What is ALS?”). Literally, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis means no muscle nourishment in the spine. In this disease, nerve cells in both the brain and spinal cord slowly die over a period of time. The cells, referred to as motor neurons, control the muscles throughout the body, resulting in death or paralyzation as they degenerate. At any given time, ALS can strike anyone. It is not contagious, however, in about 10% of cases, ALS runs in the family making it somewhat hereditary (“What is amyotrophic lateral sclerosis?”). “The incidence of ALS is two per 100,000 people” (“Facts You Should Know). Most of the time, Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS), acts on middle-aged and older adults, however there have been noted cases of patients much younger. Considering that a friend or family member can be diagnosed with this horrible disease, everyone should pitch into ALS charities in hope to find a

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