amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)


amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
or Lou Gehrig disease

Degenerative nervous-system disorder causing muscle wasting and paralysis.

The disease usually occurs after age 40, more often in men. Most victims die within two to five years from respiratory muscle atrophy. ALS affects motor neurons; the muscles they control become weak and atrophied, with debility usually beginning in the hands and creeping slowly up to the shoulders. The lower limbs become weak and spastic. Variants include progressive muscular atrophy and progressive bulbar palsy. In 1993 the defective gene that accounts for 5–10% of cases was discovered; it produces an ineffective version of an enzyme that neutralizes free radicals, which destroy motor neurons.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — noun thickening of tissue in the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord; results in progressive muscle atrophy that starts in the limbs • Syn: ↑ALS, ↑Lou Gehrig s disease • Hypernyms: ↑nervous disorder,… …   Useful english dictionary

  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — /ay muy euh trof ik, troh fik, ay muy euh /, Pathol. an incurable disease of unknown cause in which progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord leads to atrophy and eventually complete paralysis of the voluntary… …   Universalium

  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — noun Etymology: 2a + my + trophic Date: 1886 a rare progressive degenerative fatal disease affecting the motor neurons, usually beginning in middle age, and characterized especially by increasing and spreading muscular weakness and …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis — n. (Medicine) ALS, Lou Gehrig s disease, incurable progressive disease of the motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord that causes their degeneration and muscle degeneration …   English contemporary dictionary

  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis — a•my•o•troph′ic lat′eral sclero′sis [[t]ˌeɪ maɪ əˈtrɒf ɪk, ˈtroʊ fɪk, eɪˌmaɪ ə [/t]] n. pat a nervous system disease in which degeneration of motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord leads to atrophy and paralysis of the voluntary muscles… …   From formal English to slang


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