Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Lou Gehrig's disease

Overview

Type of disease: Rare conditions

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s disease” is a disease of the motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord. ALS is caused by progressive loss of motor nerves in these areas and affects approximately 1 out of 100,000 people. The diagnosis of ALS is usually based on clinical features, electrodiagnostic testing (EMG), and exclusion of other health conditions with related symptoms.  Most people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have a form of the condition that is described as sporadic or noninherited. The cause of sporadic amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is largely unknown but probably involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors. About 10 percent of people with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis have a familial form of the condition, which is caused by an inherited genetic mutation. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.

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