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Radio Shows | ALS and Lou Gehrig | mp3wmawav

Today, we will explore ALS and the most famous person killed by this disease...

On July 4, 1939, a speech given in Yankee stadium was not about Independence Day. Rather it was the farewell of one of Baseball's all time greats. Lou Gehrig was retiring from baseball. He'd been diagnosed with an incurable disease that robbed this great athlete of his career and eventually... his life. That disease is called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS. You may know it simply as "Lou Gehrig's Disease."

Lou Gehrig is considered one of the greats. His claim to fame was the streak of 2,130 consecutive games. On June 2, 1941, he succumbed to ALS and the country mourned.

Just what is ALS? It's a neuromuscular disease that destroys the nerve cells connecting the brain with the skeletal muscles. Those muscles allow us to walk and talk... and that's often where symptoms of ALS first show up.

The muscles gradually waste away so victims can't move their arms, legs, or body. In a cruel twist, ALS does not affect intellectual ability, memory, personality or sensory functions.

Victims are eventually paralyzed and die from suffocation within 3 to 5 years.

About 30,000 people in America have ALS but we don't know what causes it.

Most people who develop ALS are between the ages of 40 and 70.

There is no cure. The FDA has approved a drug called Riluzole which reduces damage but only prolongs survival by several months.

Scientists are working hard to find what causes ALS and to find treatments with the goal of finding a cure.

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For more information...

"The ALS Association is the only national not-for-profit health organization dedicated solely to the fight against ALS. ALSA covers all the bases - research, patient and community services, public education, and advocacy - in providing help and hope to those facing the disease. The mission of The ALS Association (ALSA) is to find a cure for and improve living with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis." Their website is a source of up to date information and numerous publications about ALS and the issues faced by those afflicted by this disease.
For more information...

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke is a division of the National Institutes of Health whose mission to reduce the burden of neurological disease - a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world. They provide grants for research on the causes, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of neurological disorders and stroke, and supports basic research in related scientific areas. As part of their mission is the collection and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. They have information about ALS here.

A very informative article entitled "Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: Lou Gehrig's Disease" by ANNE D. WALLING, M.D. from the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita, Kansas is available here.

For more information about Lou Gehrig, one of Baseball's all time greats, go to: http://www.lougehrig.com/

 
 

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