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    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

    Important
    It is possible that the main title of the report Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.

    Synonyms

    • ALS
    • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis-Polyglucosan Bodies
    • Aran-Duchenne Muscular Atrophy
    • Gehrig's Disease
    • Lou Gehrig's Disease
    • Motor System Disease (Focal and Slow)

    Disorder Subdivisions

    General Discussion

    Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is one of a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases. It is characterized by the progressive degeneration and eventual death of nerve cells (motor neurons) in the brain, brainstem and spinal cord that facilitate communication between the nervous system and voluntary muscles of the body. Ordinarily, motor neurons in the brain (upper motor neurons) sent messages to motor neurons in the spinal cord (lower motor neurons) and then to various muscles. ALS affects both the upper and lower motor neurons, so that the transmission of messages is interrupted, and muscles gradually weaken and waste away. As a result, the ability to initiate and control voluntary movement is lost. Ultimately, ALS leads to respiratory failure because affected individuals lose the ability to control muscles in the chest and diaphragm. ALS is often called Lou Gehrig's disease.

    Resources

    Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association
    27001 Agoura Road
    Suite 250
    Calabasas Hills, CA 91301-5104
    USA
    Tel: (818)880-9007
    Fax: (818)880-9006
    Tel: (800)782-4747
    TDD: (818)593-3540
    Email: als@alsa-national.org
    Internet: http://www.alsa.org

    Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy
    925 Busse Road
    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
    Tel: (847)367-7620
    Tel: (800)886-1762
    Email: sma@fsma.org
    Internet: http://www.fsma.org/

    Muscular Dystrophy Association
    3300 East Sunrise Drive
    Tucson, AZ 85718-3208
    USA
    Tel: (520)529-2000
    Fax: (520)529-5300
    Tel: (800)572-1717
    Email: mda@mdausa.org
    Internet: http://www.mda.org/

    NIH/National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
    P.O. Box 5801
    Bethesda, MD 20824
    Tel: (301)496-5751
    Fax: (301)402-2186
    Tel: (800)352-9424
    TDD: (301)468-5981
    Internet: http://www.ninds.nih.gov/

    Les Turner Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Foundation, Ltd.
    5550 W. Touhy Avenue,
    Suite 302
    Skokie, IL 60077-3254
    Tel: (847)679-3311
    Fax: (847)679-9109
    Tel: (888)257-1107
    Email: info@lesturnerals.org
    Internet: http://www.lesturnerals.org

    ALS Society of Canada
    3000 Steeles Avenue East, Suite 200
    Markham
    Ontario, L3R 4T9
    Canada
    Tel: 9052482052
    Fax: 9052482019
    Tel: 8002674257
    Internet: http://www.als.ca/en and http://alsont.ca/

    MND Scotland
    76 Firhill Rd
    Glasgow, G20 7BA
    Scotland
    Tel: 01419451077
    Fax: 01419452578
    Email: info@mndscotland.org.uk
    Internet: http://www.mndscotland.org.uk/

    Spastic Paraplegia Foundation
    5305 Miramar Ln
    Colleyville, TX 76034
    USA
    Tel: (877)773-4483
    Email: information@sp-foundation.org
    Internet: http://sp-foundation.org

    International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations
    P.O. Box 246
    Northampton, NN1 2PR
    United Kingdom
    Tel: 441604611821
    Fax: 441604624726
    Email: alliance@alsmndalliance.org
    Internet: http://www.alsmndalliance.org

    ALS Therapy Development Institute
    300 Technology Sq, Suite 400
    Cambridge, MA 02139
    USA
    Tel: (617)441-7200
    Fax: (617)441-7299
    Email: info@als.net
    Internet: http://www.als.net

    Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
    636 Morris Turnpike, Suite 3A
    Short Hills, NJ 07078
    USA
    Tel: (973)379-2690
    Fax: (973)912-9433
    Tel: (800)225-0292
    Email: prc@ChristopherReeve.org
    Internet: http://www.christopherreeve.org

    New Horizons Un-Limited, Inc.
    811 East Wisconsin Ave
    P.O. Box 510034
    Milwaukee, WI 53203
    USA
    Tel: (414)299-0124
    Fax: (414)347-1977
    Email: horizons@new-horizons.org
    Internet: http://www.new-horizons.org

    Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
    PO Box 8126
    Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
    Tel: (301)251-4925
    Fax: (301)251-4911
    Tel: (888)205-2311
    TDD: (888)205-3223
    Internet: http://rarediseases.info.nih.gov/GARD/

    UCSF Memory and Aging Center
    350 Parnassus Avenue
    Suite 905
    San Francisco, CA 94117
    Tel: (415)476-6880
    Fax: (415)476-4800
    Email: mgeschwind@memory.ucsf.edu
    Internet: http://www.memory.ucsf.edu

    For a Complete Report:

    This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to www.rarediseases.org and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

    The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

    It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

    This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

    For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site www.rarediseases.org or email orphan@rarediseases.org

    Last Updated: 9/29/2008
    Copyright 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

    WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

    Last Updated: May 28, 2015
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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