ALS Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), more commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neuromuscular disease that causes damage to the nerve cells controlling voluntary muscle movement. Patients lose the ability to initially control, then eventually, use, most muscles.
There are currently 30,000 patients in the United States who live with ALS. Many patients suffer from muscle weakness. Early symptoms vary with each individual, but usually include tripping, dropping things, abnormal fatigue of the arms and/or legs, slurred speech, muscle cramps and twitches and/or uncontrollable periods of laughing or crying.
As the disease progresses, speech and breathing are also affected.