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Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Abstract

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Synonyms of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

  • ALS
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Polyglucosan Bodies
  • Aran-Duchenne Muscular Atrophy
  • Gehrig's Disease
  • Lou Gehrig's Disease
  • Motor System Disease (Focal and Slow)

Disorder Subdivisions

  • Benign Focal Amyotrophy of ALS
  • Infantile Spinal Muscular Atrophy, ALS
  • Juvenile Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Included
  • Kugelberg-Welander Disease
  • Primary Lateral Sclerosis
  • Progressive Bulbar Palsy, Included
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Type ALS
  • Upper Motor Neuron Disease
  • Werdnig-Hoffman Disease
  • Wohlfart-Disease

General Discussion

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases. It is characterized by the progressive degeneration and eventual death of nerve cells (motor neurons) in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord that facilitate communication between the nervous system and voluntary muscles of the body. Ordinarily, motor neurons in the brain (upper motor neurons) sent messages to motor neurons in the spinal cord (lower motor neurons) and then to various muscles. ALS affects both the upper and lower motor neurons, so that the transmission of messages is interrupted, and muscles gradually weaken and waste away. As a result, the ability to initiate and control voluntary movement is lost. Ultimately, ALS leads to respiratory failure because affected individuals lose the ability to control muscles in the chest and diaphragm. ALS is often called Lou Gehrig's disease.

Organizations related to Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

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