AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS BELONGS TO THE GROUP OF MOTOR NEURON DISEASES. THIS GROUP OF MOTOR NEURON DISEASES IS COMPLETED BY THE SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY, A SPECIAL FORM IS THE KENNEDY-DISEASE.
ALS is historically seen as a condition that manifests itself in motor symptoms. This in turn, is due to the fact that a disease of the 1st motoneuron (the Betz cell and the corticospinal tract) of the 2nd motor neuron (the anterior horn cell and its axon) is in the foreground of the clinical deficits. This picture, which Charcot has already drawn, has given way to a much more complex scenario today. With an age peak of 55 to 75 years, there are motor deficits in the extremities or in the cranial nerve nuclei in the sense of paralysis. The disease process then spreads continuously throughout the body. At the beginning of the disease are often convulsions and fasciculations, sometimes an unexplained weight loss; the characteristic amyotrophies and paralyzes follow. According to our epidemiological findings, this disease will affect every 400th German.