Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS, is a progressive neurodegenerative disease in the central nervous system that impacts the brain and spinal cord, resulting in a loss of muscle control.
It is colloquially referred to as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, after the famous baseball player who battled it in the late 1930s, and does not yet have a cure. To better understand the language of ALS, the ALS Glossary below provides definitions for research terms commonly used by our Innovation Ecosystem and the extended ALS community.
Mutations in this gene have been linked to ALS and frontotemporal dementia. C9orf72 mutations account for 25% to 40% of familial ALS cases and about 7% of sporadic cases
cALS (Caregiver of a Person with ALS)
A term in the ALS community that refers to caregivers for people with ALS.
central nervous system (CNS)
Composed of the brain and spinal cord, the CNS governs the majority of the body and cerebral functions
cerebrospinal fluid collection
Commonly called a spinal tap, this procedure extracts the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
Also termed as "typical" ALS, it is characterized by a clinical presentation that is most common to the majority of ALS cases, it affects more than two-thirds of people with ALS and is usually fatal within four years of onset.
A bundle of nerves responsible for facilitating muscle control. They span from the brain cortex to the spinal cord.