Roberta Flack, a Grammy-winning musician, has been unable to sing since being diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Her manager revealed on Monday that the singer of Killing Me Softly with His Song is also having trouble speaking.

85-year-old Flack has been nominated for and won four Grammys.

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What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?

Brain and spinal cord nerve cells in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s illness or ALS, gradually deteriorate and then perish.

The CDC conducts surveys to determine prevalence since, like the majority of noncommunicable diseases, ALS cases are not reported to federal health officials. According to the most recent survey, which was released in 2017, there are roughly 18,000 to 31,000 cases of ALS in the United States.

ALS belongs to the same group of degenerative brain disorders as Huntington’s, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s. Their genetic origins are comparable and occasionally shared.

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Although ALS paralyses the muscles, it is not a muscular disorder. If ALS were an automobile, it would stop the crankshaft. The engine (your muscles) is in perfect working order, but there is no indication (no communication from your nerves) that it needs to be started in order to go forward.

Although there is no known treatment for ALS, it can be slowed down with certain medications. Symptoms can appear in patients as young as 18 and as old as 90, according to Glass, but the average age at which symptoms first appear is 60.

Since firms discovered that ALS therapies could be used to treat the second-most prevalent type of dementia, interest in ALS research has risen. Greater uses translates into more assistance and possible revenue for businesses.

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Why is it also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease?

According to the ALS Association, the disease was discovered in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it “became more widely known internationally on June 2, 1941, when it ended the career of one of baseball’s most beloved players.”

For 17 years, Lou Gehrig played first base for the New York Yankees. He played so well despite his injuries that he earned the moniker “The Iron Horse.” Until ALS struck at the age of 36. He died just a few weeks before his 38th birthday.

Following the death of such a famous athlete, many people began referring to ALS as Lou Gehrig’s disease.