Charcot described amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in 1874. Despite progress, this creeping paralysis, known colloquially as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is still not visibly affected by available therapies. However, advances in genetics have accelerated the pace of ALS research in the past decade, promising more effective treatment. Definition of the Disease ALS has two meanings. In one sense, it refers to several adult-onset conditions characterized by progressive degeneration of motor neurons (Figure 1). In the United Kingdom, the term motor neuron disease is used for these disorders. In the second sense, ALS refers to one specific form of motor neuron disease . . .
Rowland LP, Shneider NA. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. N Engl J Med. 2001 May 31;344(22):1688-700. doi: 10.1056/NEJM200105313442207. PMID: 11386269.