Glossary of ALS-Related Medical and Scientific Terms
(Presented by The ALS Association Greater New York Chapter)
Select a letter from the list above.
A cluster of nerve cell bodies.
|GDNF (glial derived neurotrophic factor)
GDNF is a naturally occurring growth factor that proved capable of protecting and promoting the survival of motor neurons in animal studies. A growth factor is a growth inducing protein found in the human body. There was a growing interest in these naturally occurring proteins that have a supportive, reparative or protective role for motor neurons in animals.
(1903-1941), American professional baseball player, also known as the Iron Horse because he established a record for the most consecutive games played by a professional baseball player, appearing in 2130 games from 1925 to 1939. From 1923 until 1939 he played first base for the New York Yankees of the American League. Gehrig was twice voted the league's most valuable player (MVP). Stricken with the spinal disease ALS, which later became known as Lou Gehrig's disease, he retired from baseball in 1939.
Genes are the basic biological units of heredity. They are composed of DNA.
Gene chips are a way of automating experiments that previously could only be done one at a time. They are a picture of what the RNA looks like at one particular moment. Thousands of DNA pieces in genes are spotted on a small surface enabling us to look at changes in gene expression profile of thousands of genes in one experiment. By comparing tissue from ALS patients with tissue from controls we can discover which genes vary their expression level in the disease.
All of the genetic information; the entire genetic complement; all of the hereditary material possessed by an organism.
Glutamate is one of the most common amino acids found in nature. It is the main component of many proteins, and is present in most tissues. Glutamate is also produced in the body and plays an essential role in human metabolism. It is a primary excitatory neurotransmitter in the human CNS. L-glutamate is present at a majority of synapses. Over-stimulation of these same receptors is thought to trigger the neuronal damage associated with a wide variety of neurological insults and diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), lathyrisms, and Alzheimer's disease.
Toxicity resulting from excess glutamated synapse.
The darker-colored tissues of the central nervous system. In the brain, the gray matter includes the cerebral cortex, the thalamus, the basal ganglia, and the outer layers of the cerebellum.
A naturally occurring protein chemical that stimulates cell division differentiation and proliferation. It is produced by normal cells during embryonic development, tissue growth and wound healing.
A disorder in which the body's immune system attacks part of the nervous system.