About ALS

ALS was first found in 1869 by French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot, but it wasn’t until 1939 that Lou Gehrig brought national and international attention to the disease. Ending the career of one of the most beloved baseball players of all time, the disease is still most closely associated with his name. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their death. When the motor neurons  die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to their demise. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, people may lose the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe. The motor nerves that are affected when you have ALS are the motor neurons that provide voluntary movements and muscle control. Examples of voluntary movements are making the effort to reach for a smart phone or step off a curb. These actions are controlled by the muscles in the arms and legs.

There are two different types of ALS, sporadic and familial. Sporadic which is the most common form of the disease in the U.S., is 90 – 95 percent of all cases. It may affect anyone, anywhere. Familial ALS (FALS) accounts for 5 to 10 percent of all cases in the U.S. Familial ALS means the disease is inherited. In those families, there is a 50% chance each offspring will inherit the gene mutation and may develop the disease. 

What is ALS
During the 2014 ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, millions of people started talking about ALS. Keep the conversation going to increase understanding of the disease.

Kansas City area office
6950 Squibb Rd., Ste 210
Mission, KS 66202

(913) 648-2062

Central Kansas office
3450 N. Rock Rd., Ste 211
Wichita, KS 67226

(316) 612-0188

Nebraska office
900 S. 74 PLZ., Ste 106
Omaha, NE 68114

(402) 991-8788

Southern Missouri office
2209 Petrus Cir.
Ozark, MO 65721

(417) 886-5003

  • Facebook Social Icon
  • Twitter Social Icon
  • YouTube Social  Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon