Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is a progressive neurological disorder that affects the nerve cells responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement. These nerve cells, called motor neurons, are located in the brain and spinal cord and are responsible for sending signals to muscles throughout the body.
The exact cause of ALS is not fully understood, but it is thought to be a combination of genetic and environmental factors. In some cases, ALS can be inherited through genetic mutations. However, the majority of cases are not inherited and occur sporadically.
There is currently no cure for ALS, and treatment options are aimed at managing symptoms and improving quality of life. Medications, such as riluzole and edaravone, have been approved for the treatment of ALS and can help slow the progression of the disease. Physical therapy, speech therapy, and respiratory therapy can also help improve function and quality of life for people with ALS. Additionally, clinical trials are ongoing to test new treatments and therapies for ALS.