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What does the word amyotrophic mean?

The word amyotrophic, when broken down, means muscle nourishment-with "myo" meaning muscle and "trophic" meaning nourishment. In ALS, the motor neurons die from a lack of nourishment. When those motor neurons die, they are not able to send messages to make the muscles move. Because they are unable to move, the muscles atrophy over time and people with ALS eventually become paralyzed.

Other diseases that affect motor neurons include progressive muscular atrophy, progressive bulbar palsy and primary lateral sclerosis.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.