Lou Gherig's Disease

Karina Estudillo
    ALS, better known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, affects millions of people around the world. Throughout the years, researchers and scientists have been developing new methods to treat the fatal disease. They have figured out new ways to slow the progression of Lou Gehrig’s with the use of transplants and other surgical procedures. This new discovery has created hope for people suffering with Lou Gehrig’s. The use of stem cell transplants is a great step forward in treating Lou Gehrig patients.
    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, ALS for short, is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that causes the deterioration of specific nerve cells (Miriam Falco). In other words, ALS causes certain nerves to become worse in function. Eventually, the brain loses the ability to control specific functions of the body, which includes the nerves. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, 90 to 95 percent of all ALS cases occurs apparently at random with no clearly associated risk factors (“ALS Fact Sheet”). This shows that most ALS cases are rarely genetically inherited. It also shows that ALS patients don’t have a family history of it.
    The symptoms of ALS can vary amongst each person affected. Early symptoms include tripping, dropping things, and abnormal fatigue of the arms and legs (“ALS Association”). Excessive tripping or fatigue indicates that the disease is slowly progressing and worsening. In most cases, the hands and legs are affected first by the disease. As the illness progresses, patients lose their ability to walk, talk, and breathe (Miriam Falcon). Once the disease reaches this stage, it can become extremely dangerous. The patient can die within a couple of years if they do not take care of themselves properly.
    ALS is a rare disease yet it can affect thousands of people. Based on U.S. population studies, a little over 5,600 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with ALS each year (“ALS Association”). Compared to...