amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


amyo·​tro·​phic lateral sclerosis ˌā-ˌmī-ə-ˈtrō-fik- How to pronounce amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (audio) -ˈträ- How to pronounce amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (audio)
: a rare progressive degenerative fatal disease affecting the motor neurons, usually beginning in middle age, and characterized especially by increasing and spreading muscular weakness and atrophy
abbreviation ALS

called also Lou Gehrig's disease

Examples of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Whereas, in mouse models, artificially over-activating the gene protects against amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a disease affecting motor neurons of the spinal cord, which causes progressive weakness and breakdown of muscles. William A. Haseltine, Forbes, 2 Mar. 2024 In 1977, Wedemeyer was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Nathan Canilao, The Mercury News, 4 Feb. 2024 The association, which seeks to find a cure for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, received a $58 million gift from Hoffman, whose father died from the disease. Victoria Moorwood, The Enquirer, 23 Feb. 2024 The trial is open to patients who are quadriplegics as a result of a cervical spinal cord injury or have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, 30 Jan. 2024 The device is currently in clinical trials, which are open to some individuals who have quadriplegia due to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) or a spinal cord injury, according to a recruitment pamphlet. Kelsey Ables, Washington Post, 30 Jan. 2024 Of the group that received a prescription, 184 had a form of cancer; 45 had progressive neurological conditions, such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease) or Parkinson’s disease; 25 had chronic lung conditions; and 24 had cardiovascular diseases. Meg Wingerter, The Denver Post, 27 Jan. 2024 But in May of last year, Neuralink received FDA clearance for human clinical trials, and a few months later, the startup began recruiting patients with quadriplegia caused by cervical spinal cord injury or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Clare Duffy, CNN, 20 Feb. 2024 Meanwhile, their risk of developing Parkinson’s disease by the time of a follow-up with researchers was three times as high, and that of motor neurone disease (MND) or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) 15 times as high. Amy Woodyatt, CNN, 5 Feb. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


a- entry 2 + my- + -trophic

First Known Use

1875, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis was in 1875

Dictionary Entries Near amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


amyotrophic lateral sclerosis


Cite this Entry

“Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition

amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

: a rare fatal progressive degenerative disease that affects pyramidal motor neurons, usually begins in middle age, and is characterized especially by increasing and spreading muscular weakness
abbreviation ALS

called also Lou Gehrig's disease

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