- an incurable disease of unknown cause in which progressive degeneration of motor neurons in the brain stem and spinal cord leads to atrophy and eventually complete paralysis of the voluntary muscles. Abbreviation: ALS
- a form of motor neurone disease in which degeneration of motor tracts in the spinal cord causes progressive muscular paralysis starting in the limbsAlso called: Lou Gehrig’s disease
by 1881, from French, first word from Greek a-, privative prefix, + mys, myos “muscle” (see muscle (n.)) + trophikos “feeding,” from trophe “nourishment” (see -trophy). Often known in U.S. as Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the New York Yankees baseball player (1903-1941) who was diagnosed with it in 1939.
- A disease of the motor tracts of the lateral columns and anterior horns of the spinal cord, causing progressive muscular atrophy, increased reflexes, fibrillary twitching, and spastic irritability of muscles.Charcot’s disease Lou Gehrig’s disease
- A chronic, progressive neurologic disease marked by gradual degeneration of the neurons in the spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement. The disorder causes muscle weakness and atrophy and usually results in death. Also called Lou Gehrig’s disease, after the American baseball player (1903-41) who was the first public figure to suffer from the disease.