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Motor neuron disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive disease that attacks motor neurons, components of the nervous system that connect the brain with the skeletal muscles. Skeletal muscles are the muscles involved with voluntary movement, like walking and talking. When your brain sends a signal telling a part of your body to move, the motor neurons transmit the command to the skeletal muscles. The muscles respond by contracting.

In ALS, the motor neurons deteriorate and eventually die, and though a person's brain is fully functioning and alert, the command to move never reaches the muscle. The patient may want to reach for a glass of water, for example, but is not able to do it because the lines of communication from the brain to the arm and hand muscles have been destroyed. The muscles eventually waste away from disuse, and a person in the late stages of Lou Gehrig's disease is completely paralyzed. Currently, there is no cure for ALS, although drug therapy can slow progression of the disease.
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ALS Association - Information about this non-profit health organization that is dedicated solely to the fight against Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, Lou Gehrigs Disease. International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations - the peak body for national organisations who support people living with ALS/MND. The Curtis R. Vance Foundation - Information about the organization as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, ways to improve daily life with ALS, and an opportunity to donate to a worthy cause. The Angel Fund - Dedicated to increasing awareness of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and based at Massachusetts General Hospital. General Practice Notebook - Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - Clinically-oriented information. ALS Forums - An online support group, moderated by people with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, intended for individuals affected by ALS/MND. Defeating ALS - Awareness and fund-raising dedicated to defeating Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Information about events, how you can help, and about the disease. Sponsored by a family affected twice by the disease. ALS Ride for Life - Caregiver support, information about improving outcome. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Sacramento - A nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education, information and support services to ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) patients and their families. Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Information Page - ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease information sheet compiled by NINDS, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. eMedicine Health - Dementia in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (Lou Gehrig Disease) - Consumer health resource center providing information on the causes, symptoms, of ALS and dementia.
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