Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a neurological condition characterized by muscle stiffness, twitching, and cramping in the early stages and, later, problems with moving, swallowing, and speaking. The causes of this disease are unknown. Scientists speculate that genetics or an autoimmune response may play a role, among other things.
Because the early symptoms of this disease are subtle, ALS may go unnoticed at first. However, once a diagnosis is made, treatment often involves physical therapy, speech therapy, and medications. Unfortunately, there is no cure for the condition at this time.
(Click Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis to learn more about this disease, including how it is diagnosed, who it affects, and the usual prognosis.)