Known as the Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig was long viewed as an accomplished first basemen for the New York Yankees who most notably playing in 2130 consecutive games- spanning 13 years. But while he personified strength and endurance on the baseball diamond, it was with great irony that a figure of this magnitude would become the face and bring worldwide attention to such a debilitating condition. But: What exactly is Lou Gehrig’s Disease? you ask. Look no further!
What is it: Also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), it is a progressive neurodegenerative disease. What does that mean? It’s a condition that affects the nerves that extend from the brain and spinal cord. Those nerves control muscle movement/function and as they die off, cause muscles to weaken, eventually leading to complete muscle paralysis. ALS is currently 100% fatal typically 2-5 years after onset.
Who is most likely affected: Men are more prevalent than women by a ratio of 2:1. Military veterans are twice as susceptible as the general population.
Where does it strike: Commonly starts in the hands, but extends to the arms, legs and feet.
When does it occur: Individuals in their 40’s are at the highest risk.
Why does it occur: Despite continued research, the cause is not yet known.
What the foot!?!: Those with nerve degeneration of the legs and feet, loses the ability to properly lift and plant their feet when walking in a condition known as drop foot. The nerves and muscles no longer work in tandem and causes an outward swinging of the leg and feet showing an abnormal gait. Check out this video (courtesy of YouTube) showing a gait with drop foot vs. a normal gait
Like to learn more about ALS? check out!
Putting your best FEET forward,