Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Motor Neuron Disease

  • Maggie A. KuhnEmail author
  • Lisa Marie Williams


Motor neuron diseases (MNDs) are progressive neurodegenerative disorders affecting spinal and bulbar nerves. Of this class of diseases, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is the most common. Other MNDs differ in age of onset, distribution of motor neuron involvement, and disease severity. Most occur sporadically and have no clear cause, while a minority are inherited. All share an unrelenting course without known cure and commonly impair communication, deglutition, and respiration. They universally create significant impact to patient’s quality of life, nutritional status, and longevity. Treatments focus on managing symptoms and preventing adverse sequelae related to neurologic deficits.


Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis Hereditary spastic paraparesis Lower motor neuron Motor neuron disease Primary lateral sclerosis Progressive bulbar palsy Progressive muscular atrophy Spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy Spinal muscular atrophy Upper motor neuron 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck SurgeryUniversity of California, DavisSacramentoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Physical Medicine and RehabilitationUniversity of California, DavisSacramentoUSA

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