Lou Gehrig may not have had Lou Gehrig’s disease or why wearing a helmet is a good thing (via WIRED)

Yankees legend Lou Gehrig died 69 years ago from what was believed to be amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, where is when various cells in the brain and spinal column become slowly diseased and voluntary motor function becomes increasingly impaired. In fact, Gehrig was the first truly public face put on the ailment, hence how it came to be known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Turns out, there’s a good chance Lou Gehrig didn’t die of Lou Gehrig’s disease, according to a group of Boston researchers that will publish their findings Wednesday in the Journal of Neuropathology and Experimental Neurology. While Gehrig is not mentioned specifically in the study [pdf], the findings highlight three cases, physiologically akin to Gehrig, in which people were diagnosed as having ALS but actually suffered from similar neurotrauma brought on by the long-term effects of concussions and other brain damage.