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Abstract

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is a degenerative neurological disease that damages nerve cells in the brain, in particular the neurons that are involved in voluntary muscle movements. Internationally the disorder is also known as Charcot’s disease and motor neuron disease. In the United States, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis is often referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease, motor neuron disease, and more colloquially ALS. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is the most prominent of the five motor neuron diseases, distinguishing itself from the others through degeneration of both upper motor neurons (UMN) and lower motor neurons (LMN) respectively. The “Father of neurology” Jean-Marie Charcot founded the disease in 1869 after thorough work and observation in his laboratory. Unfortunately ALS is a rapidly progressive disease in which all voluntary muscle control is eventually lost, with general life expectancy of three to five years after being diagnosed.