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.
The process of introducing foreign genetic material (such as DNA or RNA) into cells using genetically engineered vectors.
The process by which the information from a gene is used to produce end products (such as proteins or other molecules).
gene mutation/mutated genes
A change in the DNA sequence that makes up a gene. Mutations are often caused by random errors during cell division and are often inheritable. They can also be caused by exposure to DNA-damaging agents such as radiation
The genetic makeup of an organism; in other words, it describes an organism's complete set of genes
glial derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF)
A naturally occurring substance that protects and contributes to the survival of motor neurons.