The Ice Bucket Challenge is bringing some much needed awareness to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis(ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. ALS is a disease that affects the nerve cells of the brain & spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. ALS can lead to total paralysis, but in most cases at least some eye movement ability remains intact. In fact, the muscles that control eye movements are often the last voluntary muscles left working in the later stages of the disease. This makes the eyes a vital tool for communication, from the old fashioned blink response to high-tech computers controlled by eye movements.
You might be surprised by some of the famous people who have been afflicted with ALS, persons such as professional baseball player Lou Gehrig, genius Professor Stephen Hawking, actor Lane Smith, Chinese military and political leader Mao Zedong, musician Lead Belly & professional football player Steve Gleason. Approximately 30,000 Americans are currently affected by this disease.