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ALS was first identified in the mid-19th century by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot. 


In 1939 American baseball star Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS and gave one of the great farewell speeches in history.  He died two years later.


Today, the prognosis for people diagnosed with ALS is much the same as that which Lou Gehrig faced over seventy years ago.

ALS - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - Lou Gehrig's Disease - Motor Neurone DIsease - Maladie de Charcot

 

There is no global census of people with ALS. There are estimates based on small studies.  It is likely that there are around half a million people living with ALS at any moment.  Unfortunately they usually don't live long.

 

Given the short time between diagnosis and death in many patients, there is a terrible revolving door of new patients and funerals.

ALS strikes everyone from young adults to the elderly. It attacks both men and women on every continent.  The disease takes a difficult, rapid, downhill course that requires huge amounts of courage for both patients and their families.