Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) is also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease.

ALS affects nerve cells found in the brain and spinal cord, leading to muscle weakness,
a loss of motor function and, eventually, death.

The average life expectancy of ALS patients after diagnosis is between 2-5 years.

No one knows what causes ALS, but environmental and genetic factors are thought to be contributing factors. 

Common symptoms of ALS include weakness in the limbs and eventually,
paralysis and difficulties with speech, swallowing and breathing.

ALS is usually diagnosed based on presenting symptoms while ruling out other illnesses.

ALS does not affect a person’s ability to see, smell, taste, hear, or recognize touch.
People diagnosed with ALS usually maintain control of eye muscles and bladder and bowel functions.

When muscles in the diaphragm and chest wall fail, people lose the ability to breathe without ventilatory support. Most people with ALS die from respiratory failure.

There is currently no cure for ALS. There is one drug, Riluzole which prolongs your life by 2-3 months. 

ALS was first discovered in 1869.
However, it was truly brought to attention by Lou Gehrig in 1939
when he told the world he was diagnosed with ALS.