Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; often called "Lou Gehrig's Disease". A "degenerative disease of the nervous system, affecting the brain cells (motor neurons) that carry impulses from the brain and spinal cord to the muscles". Some high-profile victims: senator Jacob Javits, Catfish Hunter, Dmitri Shostakovich, actor Michael Zaslow, Leadbelly, actor David Niven (he lost his voice; Rich Little had to dub it for a film), and Charles Mingus, who kept composing, after the loss of motor skills.