Disease Information for Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: Definition

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  • ALS; Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis; progressive degeneration of the neurons that give rise to the corticospinal tract and of the motor cells of the brain stem and spinal cord, resulting in a deficit of upper and lower motor neurons--------------------------

    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); 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) send 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--------[NORD 2005]-----------

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