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ALS milestones Lou Gehrig<br>1903-1941

August 2003

French physician Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot is first to describe ALS.

The "Iron Horse" of the New York Yankees, Lou Gehrig, ends his record consecutive games played streak at 2,130 after 14 seasons. Plagued by muscle weakness, he calls himself "the luckiest man on the face of the earth" at a recognition day on July 4.

Gehrig, no longer able to walk, dies of ALS at age 37. Over the years ALS becomes known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Scientists link familial ALS to human chromosome 21.

Researchers identify a gene that, when defective, is responsible for familial ALS. The SOD1 gene on chromosome 21 is mutated in up to 20 percent of inherited cases.

Rilutek®, the first treatment to alter the course of ALS, is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug appears to increase survival of ALS patients, but more study is needed.

Scientists report that defects in a gene on chromosome 2 can cause a rare form of ALS called ALS2. This is the second gene to be linked to ALS.

Dr. John Hart of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio and collaborators are the first to generate X-ray crystal images of mutant SOD1 proteins.

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