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Lou Gehrig's Disease Or ALS Still A Mystery
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Story By: Larry Stine



  Originally Published on: 9/2/2013

We know it as Lou Gehrig's Disease, named after the famous baseball player. But ALS is an illness many of us know very little about. Holly Firfer has more in today's Health Minute. ALS affects thousands of lives, including Jon Stone of Sesame Street, Augie Nieto of Life Fitness, and TV chef cake boss' mother. This illness, also know as Lou Gehrig's Disease, can strike almost anyone. "The vast majority of ALS is sporadic and that's a medical term that means it just happens out of the blue," says Dr. Jeff Rothstein, an ALS specialist. Weakness in your hands, legs or feet may be the first signs. "It spreads, then slowly over time, so it begins in the left hand, it might spread to the right hand, right leg," says Dr. Rothstein. Muscles become progressively weaker until they're paralyzed. "It's a diseae where the cells in your brain and the spinal chords, the cells that control your brain and our muscles, slowly degenerate, they die," says Dr. Rothstein. Doctors are working hard to find a cure. "There is an FDA-approved drug that very slughtly slows the disease down but there is no way to stop the disease," says Dr. Rothstein. "There's no way to reverse the disease." Scientists hope stem cell therapy and genetic research may provide some answers.
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