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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal type of motor neuron disease [3]. It is characterized by progressive degeneration of nerve cells in the spinal cord and muscles throughout the body [2][ 4]. Motor neurons are specialized nerve cells that control voluntary muscle movements such as walking and talking [1][ 2], and they reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body [4]. ALS can also be referred to as motor neuron disease (MND) or Lou Gehrig's disease [5], and treatments include riluzole, which has been shown to slow down progression of symptoms in some patients with ALS/MND [6]. There are ongoing research efforts into understanding ALS better through microphysiological 3D models of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) using stem cell-derived MNs[8] as well as conferences dedicated to discussing advances in this field such as 2023 Gordon Research Conference on Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Related Motor Neuron Diseases[7]. Symptoms may include difficulty speaking, swallowing, breathing problems, muscle weakness or stiffness, fatigue or cramps. Management strategies for people living with ALS involve physical therapy, occupational therapy speech therapy medications for symptom relief psychological support nutrition counseling respiratory care social work services genetic counseling palliative care hospice care[9][10].


[1]: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) - Symptoms and causes - Mayo ... (https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis/symptoms-causes/syc-20354022)
[2]: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Fact Sheet | National Institute of ... (https://www.ninds.nih.gov/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als-fact-sheet)
[3]: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) | Johns Hopkins Medicine (https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als)
[4]: What is ALS? - Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis | The ALS Association (https://www.als.org/understanding-als/what-is-als)
[5]: ALS - Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ALS)
[6]: Riluzole for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)/motor neuron ... (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22419278/)
[7]: 2023 Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) and Related Motor ... (https://www.grc.org/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als-and-related-motor-neuron-diseases-conference/2023/)
[8]: Microphysiological 3D model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS ... (https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.aat5847)
[9]: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis: What Is It, Symptoms & Management (https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/16729-amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis-als)
[10]: Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: MedlinePlus Genetics (https://medlineplus.gov/genetics/condition/amyotrophic-lateral-sclerosis/)

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Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects the motor neurons in the brain and spinal cord. Motor neurons are responsible for controlling voluntary muscle movement, such as walking, talking, breathing, and swallowing. In ALS, these motor neurons gradually degenerate and die off over time leading to paralysis of muscles throughout the body. There is currently no cure for ALS but treatments can help slow down its progression and manage symptoms.