This guide serves as a starting point for learning about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease) and other neurodegenerative diseases. This landing page will give an overview of ALS and neurodegenerative diseases.
ALS is a progressively degenerative disorder that affects motor neurons in the brain and spine, and leads to a loss of motor control and movement. It is a universally fatal disease for which there is no known cure. An estimated 16,000 people have ALS in the United States, with around 750,000 people with the disease around the world.
"Neurodegenerative disease" is a catch-all term for a diverse array of conditions and disorders that affect the nervous system and the human brain. These diseases tend to affect motor functions like movement and balance, and many of them also present with dementia. They are almost universally incurable, and most are also eventually fatal. Examples of neurodegenerative diseases include ALS, Alzheimer's disease, Huntington's disease, Parkinson's disease, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (Mad Cow Disease).