What is ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis)?
ALS is primarily a disease of the parts of the nervous system that control voluntary muscle movement.
The word “amyotrophic” comes from Greek roots that mean “without nourishment to muscles” and refers to the loss of signals nerve cells normally send to muscle cells. “Lateral” means “to the side” and refers to the location of the damage in the spinal cord. “Sclerosis” means “hardened” and refers to the hardened nature of the spinal cord in advanced ALS.
In the United States, ALS also is called Lou Gehrig’s disease, named for the Yankees baseball player who died of it in 1941. In Britain and elsewhere in the world, ALS is often called motor neuron disease in reference to the cells (motor neurons) that degenerate in this disorder.
NOTE: 2017 DATES