Neurology - Clinical
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a slowly progressive disease of variable presentation and rate of progress, has come into the limelight after a century of neglect. Recently, the pace of research has rapidly accelerated, stemming from several parallel lines of research: epidemiology and genetics, neurotrophic factors, excitotoxicity and its integral relation to energy metabolism, free radical homeostasis and its relation to apoptotic cell death, calcium metabolism and cytoskeletal proteins within the motor neuron. Moreover, striking advances in technology for biomedical research are also contributing. From these investigations, reclassification of ALS and motor neuron diseases syndromes is beginning. The introduction of an anti-excitotoxic drug, with an effect in slowing progression of the disease, has made the process of diagnosis and clinical management more important. All these factors have led to a surge in interest and understanding regarding therapy, the maintenance of quality of life in the disease and the ethical issues surrounding the progression of this disease. This book will be of great interest to clinical neurologists and trainees, and to all those concerned in the care of people with ALS.