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ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease that greatly impacts the brain and central nervous system. In a healthy body, motor neurons in the brain send signals throughout the body, telling muscles and body systems how to work.
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia that interferes with behavior, memory, and thinking. Dementia is a broader term for memory loss and cognitive deficits that interfere with daily activities of living. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 5.4 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease.
Asthma is an inflammatory disease of the lungs. It makes breathing difficult and brings on attacks of coughing, wheezing, tightness in the chest and shortness of breath. According to the CDC, approximately 25 million Americans suffer from asthma. It’s the most common chronic condition among American children.
Colorectal cancer is cancer of the rectum or colon (the large intestine) in the lower section of the digestive system. One in 20 people will develop this type of cancer in their lifetime, with risk factors including family history, prior bowel diseases.
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a progressive lung disease that makes it difficult to breathe. “Progressive” means that the disease gets worse over time. Approximately 12 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with COPD.
Diabetes is a common group of chronic metabolic diseases in which defects in insulin production and/or function cause high blood sugar (glucose) levels in the body. Insulin is a hormone released by the pancreas when we eat food; it allows sugar to go from the blood into the cells.
Dementia is a decline in cognitive function. It may affect memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior. To be considered dementia, at least two of these brain functions must be impaired. Dementia may also cause personality changes. Dementia is not a disease.
Depression is a common mood disorder that causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest. Symptoms can also include a lack of energy, trouble sleeping, difficulty with decision making, and persistent feelings of worthlessness or guilt.
Cardiovascular disease, also known as heart disease, is a broad term that includes coronary artery disease, arrhythmia or abnormalities of the heart rhythm, atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, heart infections, and congenital heart defects. It is considered the leading cause of death in the world.
Cancer occurs when cells in the body undergo a mutation that causes them to grow rapidly and uncontrollably. Lung cancer forms when cancer cells invade and destroy healthy cells in the lung tissues and air passages. There are two main categories of lung cancer: non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer.
Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various body systems, including joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system attacks its own organs and tissues. Symptoms vary depending on what body systems a particular person’s lupus affects.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a chronic autoimmune disease that impacts the body’s central nervous system. It is believed that MS causes the immune system to attack myelin, which insulates the nerves. This can cause inflammation and lesions that can make affect the brain’s ability to send signals throughout the body.
Obesity is defined as having a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more, and according to the CDC, about 35% of American adults and 17% of American children and teenagers fall into this category. People who are obese are at higher risk of health problems such as type 2 diabetes.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects a person’s joints, most frequently those in the hands and feet. It can also impact various other systems of the body. RA causes the immune system to attack the body’s tissue.
Liver disease, also known as hepatic disease, is a broad term that includes hepatitis, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fatty liver disease, and cirrhosis. According to the American Liver Foundation, liver inflammation is one of the early signs of any liver disease. If the inflammation continues over time, it can start to hurt one's liver permanently and progress to liver failure.
Muscular dystrophies are a group of diseases that cause muscle weakness and decreased mobility. According to the CDC, different types of muscular dystrophy affect specific groups of muscles, have a specific age when signs and symptoms are first seen, vary in how severe they can be, and are caused by mutations in different genes.
Kidney disease occurs when the kidneys are no longer able to remove waste effectively or balance bodily fluids. Because kidney disease often has no symptoms, it can go unnoticed until it is very advanced. Diabetes and high blood pressure are the top causes of kidney disease.
Melanoma, although not the most common skin cancer, is the most dangerous skin cancer. It is most often caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun or tanning beds that lead skin cells to multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors.