Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis 1
What is Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis?
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a disease of the nerves and muscles. This disease specifically affects the motor neurons, which are nerves that go from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles in the body. These motor neurons are responsible for controlling voluntary movement, which is movement that you normally initiate. The motor neurons eventually degrade and die and stop sending/receiving messages to the muscle. The affected muscles gradually weakens and wastes away (atrophy) because they cannot function without nerve signals. People with ALS eventually lose the ability to eat, talk, move and even breathe. This condition is progressive, meaning that it will continue to get worse over time.
SOURCE: Emory University - Department of Human Genetics in collaboration with ThinkGenetic • https://www.thinkgenetic.com/diseases/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-1-8561/overview/9360 • DATE UPDATED: 2016-09-03
Contact a ThinkGenetic Counselor
Do you have additional questions that haven't been answered? Ask a ThinkGenetic Counselor — a real expert in the field of genetics. Just fill out this form to send an email. We will be in touch within 48 hours.