Amylotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)

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Support groups for patients with Amylotrophic Lateral Sclerosis urge that the condition be counted as a rare disease.

About Amylotropic Lateral Sclerosis: 


  • It is a neurodegenerative disease in which special nerve cells called motor neurons in the brain and spine which control an individual’s voluntary functions like walking, chewing, talking, moving their arms- are affected.
  • It’s also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
  • As these nerve cells progressively die, the muscles dependent on them are unable to function or move, due to which they begin to atrophy or waste away.


How does ALS affect the body?

  • As your motor neurons (nerve cells) continue to decline, they can’t send signals to your muscles. The two types of motor neurons are:
    • Upper motor neurons, the motor nerve cells in your brain and spinal cord. Their job is to send signals to lower motor neurons.
    • Lower motor neurons, the motor nerve cells in your brain stem (lower part of your brain) and spinal cord. They receive instructions from the upper motor neurons. They then send messages to your muscles telling them to move.
  • From the onset of symptoms, it takes around 8 to 15 months for diagnosis.
  • Currently, there is no effective cure for this disease.


Q1) What is neuron?

A neuron, also known as a nerve cell, is a specialized cell in the nervous system that is responsible for transmitting information through electrical and chemical signals. Neurons are the basic building blocks of the nervous system and play a crucial role in processing and transmitting information within the body.

Source: Negotiating a life with Amylotropic Lateral Sclerosis