Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), classified as a motor neuron disease (any disease of a motor neuron, including spinal muscular atrophy, progressive bulbar paralysis, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and lateral sclerosis;Dorlands Medical Dictionary-http://Dorlands.com ) and associated with the famous baseball player Lou Gehrig disease whom was diagnosed in 1939, can affect several body systems. ALS has a set of conditions that will become exacerbations (manifestations) of the conditions of ALS, which in some cases can present as other disorders. Testing is limited, but can be helpful in ruling out other disorders.
Further description of this disease through the Dorlands Medical Dictionary, states this is an autosomal dominant disorder, for a deeper description of this clue to ALS follow this link, http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002049.htm where a mutation of a gene, encodes protein functions as an ion channel and kinase; with progression to Parkinson like symptoms that can be associated with progressive dementia diseases or disorders. Knowing about family history can be a huge factor in deciding the causes of autosomal dominant or autosomal recessive, as well as sex linked dominate or recessive conditional circumstances in your family tree.
For the science behind the description above please visit this article, http://www.cell.com/developmental-cell/retrieve/pii/S1534580712001839 as the details are vast and complicated, the general public needs new ways to sort out how and why individuals contract disorders which are life threatening. New methods to help breathing are available for patients with ALS.
Although to date there is no cure for ALS the foundations for making the patient comfortable and able to remain off a ventilator longer are taking a new approaches. The drugs improve the symptoms but do not stop the disease. Monitoring pain, depression, are being addressed also rehabilitation is available by asking your team of doctors to provide you or a family member with the appropriate physical regiment to help with the debilitating consequences of this disorder. Please follow this link to get a larger view on all the areas ALS can affect and the treatments available, http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/amyotrophiclateralsclerosis/ALS.htm
ALS Association, Les Turner ALS Foundation, ALS Therapy Development Institute listed on the National Institute of Neurological Disorders, (NINDS) at the previously cited above within this article.