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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Other Names for this Disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 1
- Lou Gehrig disease
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 10
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 11
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 2
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 3
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis type 4
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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as "Lou Gehrig's disease," is a progressive motor neuron disease which leads to problems with muscle control and movement. There are various types of ALS, which are distinguished by their signs and symptoms and their cause. Early symptoms may include muscle twitching, cramping, stiffness, or weakness, eventually followed by slurred speech and difficulty chewing or swallowing (dysphagia). As the disease progresses, individuals become weaker are are eventually wheelchair-dependent. Death often results from respiratory failure within 2 to 10 years after the onset of symptoms. Most affected individuals have a sporadic (not inherited) form of ALS; about 5-10% have a familial (inherited) form of the condition. Familial ALS may caused by mutations in any one of several genes and the pattern of inheritance varies depending on the gene involved. Treatment is generally supportive.
- Donkervoort S, Siddique T. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. GeneReviews . http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK1450/. Accessed April 12, 2011.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Genetics Home Reference. http://ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis. Accessed January 7, 2013.
- Nigel Leigh and Lokesh Wijesekera. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Orphanet. http://www.orpha.net/consor/cgi-bin/OC_Exp.php?lng=EN&Expert=803. Accessed January 7, 2012.
- Genetics Home Reference (GHR) contains information on Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Click on the link to go to GHR and review the information.
- MedlinePlus, a Web site designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, provides more information about this topic. Click on the link to view this information.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. Click on the link to view this information. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) was established in 1988 as a national resource for molecular biology information. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) collects and disseminates research information related to neurological disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
- Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs. Access to this database is free of charge. Click on the link to read information on this topic.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.
- The The Online Mendelian Inheritance in Man (OMIM) database contains genetics resources that discuss Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Click on the link to go to OMIM and review these resources.
Selected Full-Text Journal Articles
- Early treatment with noninvasive positive pressure ventilation prolongs survival in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis patients with nocturnal respiratory insufficiency, Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases, 2009; 4:10.
- The Social Security Administration has included this condition in their Compassionate Allowances Initiative. This initiative speeds up the processing of disability claims for applicants with certain medical conditions that cause severe disability. More information about Compassionate Allowances and applying for Social Security disability is available online.