Lou Gerhig's Disease

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“So, I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot to live for,” Lou Gehrig made that as his closing remarks in his “Farwell” speech two weeks after announcing he had ALS (“Farewell”). ALS, or Lou Gerhig’s disease, is a degenerative neurological disease that weakens and, eventually, renders muscles useless and has many other symptoms and causes that are still being discovered, including brain concussions from football and other sports. Described by scientists as far back as 1824, it wasn’t until 1869 when French neurologist Jean-Marie Charcot first wrote and published reports of the characteristics linked to ALS (“About,” ALSA.org) (“About,” Wordpress). It wasn’t until when Lou Gehrig was diagnosed with the disease. In 1938, after having a difficult time with playing baseball, Gehrig visited the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota, where he was diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig”). Later on, on July 4, 1939, when he was being inducted into the Hall of Fame, he gave his famous “Farewell” speech, announcing that he had ALS.…show more content…
Several scientists, which were funded by the NFL, claimed that they had found evidence that connected brain and head injuries to a condition that mimicked ALS (“Injuries Mimic ALS”). One of the scientists, Dr. Ann McKee, stated that she had found proteins that proved to be toxic in the spinal cords of three athletes who had obtained head injuries and were later diagnosed with ALS. She said that the proteins were not found in individuals with CTE, a condition similar to ALS. A 2012 study had shown that NFL players might be at higher risk of diseases like ALS (“NFL Players”). The study included nearly 3,500 former NFL players, with 10% already having been passed away. The ALS Association stated: “A player’s risk of death from ALS or Alzheimer’s was almost four times higher than the general population,” (“NFL

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