It was the one time Marty Vandenbrock wanted to be wrong.
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About ALS, Lou Gehrig’s Disease
• A progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, the degeneration of the motor neurons eventually leads to death.
• The life expectancy of an ALS patient averages about two to five years from the time of diagnosis, but the disease is variable and many people live with quality for five years and more. More than half of all patients live more than three years after diagnosis.
• Most commonly strikes people between the ages of 40 and 70, with an average age of 55 at the time of diagnosis. It is 20 percent more common in men than women.
• Approximately 5,600 people are diagnosed with ALS each year in this country.
Symptoms can include
• Muscle weakness in hands, arms, legs or the muscles of speech, swallowing or breathing.
• Twitching and cramping of muscles, especially those in the hands and feet.
• Impairment of the use of arms and legs
• “Thick speech” and difficulty in projecting the voice
• In more advanced stages, shortness of breath, difficulty in breathing and swallowing.